With the resolution of Johnny Depp’s libel trial against The Sun’s reference to him as a “wife beater” going against him, public opinion is swinging back in favor of Amber Heard, with people now feeling vindicated in watching her movies again. Ludicrous actioner Machete Kills, featuring one of her less frequently referenced roles, has just hit Netflix for your viewing pleasure.
Machete Kills is the sequel to Machete, which sees Danny Trejo return as the eponymous bounty hunter and former Federale. After a madman threatens to fire a nuclear missile at Washington DC to force the US government to take action against Mexican drug cartels, Machete is sent to take him out, which kicks off a truly demented tale involving multiple double crosses, corrupt law enforcement, a brothel madam with a minigun bra, an army of prostitute assassins, a reincarnating martial artist henchman and a shapeshifting hitman. True to its inspirational roots of ‘70s grindhouse trash, it’s exactly as preposterous as that sounds, and also cranks up Machete’s badassery to superhuman indestructibility.
Heard comes into it as one of multiple beautiful women to populate the movie, and is also one of the few white actors to play a significant character, which is even referenced in her character’s name of Blanca. She is introduced early on as Machete’s handler on his mission, an agent who works undercover in beauty pageants, and whose initial purpose is to be excessively blonde and seductive. There is more to the character revealed later on, but that unfortunately veers into spoiler territory.
Machete Kills will be far from the first film featuring Heard that people will now feel comfortable watching, and even if you’re still a bit uneasy about it after the whole sorry mess of everything dredged up in the courts, she is absent from enough of the story that you can still enjoy the farcical histrionics the film has to offer.