At the grand old age of 69, stoic action icon Danny Trejo (below) gets another blade-wielding workout as Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Grindhouse’ spin-off Mexploitation franchise returns for a further slice of juvenile mayhem. This time there’s more of an 007-movie vibe as Trejo’s former federale is saved from a death sentence by the US president (a mugging Charlie Sheen billed under his real name Carlos Estevez). His mission is to eliminate a Mexican supervillain (Demián Bichir), who’s pointing a missile at Washington. The story takes in an identity-shifting killer called ‘The Chameleon’ – played by Lady Gaga at one point – an entire brothel seeking vengeance, and a guest spot for a hard-working Mel Gibson that’s never as funny as the movie thinks.
Sadly, much as we want to relish the shameless parade of cartoon violence, while indulging the equally shameless cavalcade of adolescent sexism, the soggy plotting and slack comic timing are downers. Still, Trejo is serene, letting the bags under his eyes do the acting. He dispatches pithy one-liners and disposable henchmen with unhurried skill.