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Bad Asses (Review)

An amusing old-timer buddy flick.

by Ed Blackadder

After watching and enjoying Bad Asses, yet another low-budget action effort starring Danny Trejo, with Danny Glover by his side, I decided to do a bit of research as I knew it was a follow-up to Bad Ass, which came out in 2012. I also discovered Trejo's Frank Vega character is based on a real guy; a bearded old-timer who beat up a 50-year-old black man who he'd insulted on a bus, then when the black man, who had a little too much to drink, wouldn't let up, the old dude punched his lights out. You can watch the video on YouTube by clicking here. I looked into the saga so don't be fooled by the title declaring the black man a "young dude," which I think they've attempted to sensationalize.

I found it quite interesting how they've copied everything about the old guy, from his fanny pack to his T-shirt with "I am a Motherf*cker" emblazoned on the back. They've even given Vega the same cap and similar beard, and it actually does make for a good idea for an action flick.

Bad Asses
Written & Directed by Craig Moss
Cast Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Andrew Divoff, Jacqueline Obradors
Release Date 2014
Ed's Grade: C+

Frank Vega had his 15-minutes of fame 3-years-ago, after he beat up a skinhead on a bus who was harassing an old man. Frank now runs a boxing gym where he helps underprivileged kids and trains then to box. One of his boxers is Manny Parkes (Jeremy Ray Valdez), who shows real promise and has become very close to Frank. After a training session at the gym, Manny tells Frank he's heading home, but Manny meets a group of thugs who he owes drug money to. Manny ends up dead, but when Frank discovers drugs may have been the reason he was killed, he teams up with his old buddy, Bernie (Danny Glover), who owns the store attached to Frank's gym, and together they go after the people responsible.

I've seen a great many of Danny Trejo's films recently and they vary quite a bit in quality, and not having seen Bad Ass, I couldn't say what that was like, however, Bad Asses is definitely one of his better ones. The action is over-the-top and ridiculous, which is part of the appeal of this type of B-movie, but the humor was particularly good, which was really a bonus. Having Trejo partner up with Danny Glover was a good idea, and I see the pair will be in the follow-up to this, imaginatively titled, Bad Ass 3. If you're familiar with the Lethal Weapon franchise, which you'd have to be unless you've just come from Mars, you can clearly see the nods with Glover almost reenacting his Detective Roger Murtaugh character. I only wish he had uttered that immortal line, "I'm getting too old for this shit."

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The acting was solid by everyone which was another bonus as I would expect a few shaky performances in Trejo's low-budget flicks, but surprisingly, director Craig Moss managed the entire production well. The reason I'm surprised was after seeing the truly awful (and long-winded) 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which Moss also wrote, I expected another disaster. Bad Asses had loads of action, kept me chuckling away and entertained, which is all one can hope for in a film. If you like B-movies then this one is worth a gander.

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