April 16, 2014

DVD Review: Bad Asses

Two years ago a little movie came out based on an internet video of a bus fight. This little nugget of fact was taken by writer/director Craig Moss and fleshed out into an entire feature. The movie was called Bad Ass and it did not seem at all interested in being realistic. It was used as an excuse to turn an elderly man into a B-movie action hero. You know what? It worked. The movie was a lot more entertaining than it had any right to be. The low budget film proved to be successful enough to warrant a sequel, the cleverly titled Bad Asses.

Bad Asses features the return of writer/director Craig Moss, and among his limited filmography this and its predecessor stand out as the only films that need be watched from him. It also features the return of Danny Trejo to the lead role of Frank Vega, the titular bad ass. Now, you probably noticed that the movie title is plural, it is true, Frank Vega enlists a friend to join him in some B-movie action mayhem. So, who might this friend be? If you managed to miss the cover art, it is none other than Danny Glover. That's right, he finally is actually too old for this sh!t and continues to do it anyway.

There is not a lot to this movie. The viral sensation nugget of fact that launched the original is long since gone. This time the movie relies on the likability of its leads and their ability to be convincing bad asses. It works. Perhaps not quite as well as it did the first time around, but that does not take anything away from this being a fun diversion with a couple of entertaining personalities to play your guides.

The story picks up with Frank working at a gym teaching underprivileged youths to box. One of the kids runs into some bad guys he owes some drug money to. It does not go well and the teen ends up dead. Of course, news gets back to Frank and he knows that the cops are not going to be able to help. He turns to Bernie (Glover) for help and the two gear up in old guy duds and take to the streets to find the man responsible and they won't stop until they do.

That is all there really is to it. Seriously. There are a couple of other random fights, but it is mostly Frank and Bernie going around fighting their way up the drug dealer food chain, causing as much noise and destruction as a couple of guys can.

Is it a good movie? Not particularly, but it is fun. The action is over the top, it is ridiculous in its simplicity, goofy in its execution, and perfectly endearing. Don't have high expectations, this is not a movie that is interested in being good, it sets out to simply entertain, and on that level it does. It is silly and not terribly memorable, but it has an infectiousness that is hard not to smile at while it plays out.

Audio/Video. The movie is presented in a ratio if 1.78:1 and has a pretty solid level of detail to match its good color depth. Trejo has a wonderfully craggy face and you can see every crevice. Additionally, the movie is pretty colorful, and it looks quite good. It is paired with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that is nice, crisp and clear. It never becomes overbearing and does its job in solid fashion.

Extras. The lone extra is a ten-minute making of featurette.

Bottomline. Bad Asses is a fun romp. It doesn't hurt that Danny Trejo is awesome.


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