BAD ASS 2: BAD ASSES
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
Danny Trejo as FRANK VEGA
Danny Glover as BERNIE POPE
Andrew Divoff as LEANDRO HERRERA
Jacqueline Obradors as ROSARIA PARKES
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Craig Moss
BY KEVIN CARR
I have a confession to make: I never saw “Bad Ass.” Honestly, I don’t think a lot of people did. However, don’t worry. That didn’t stop me from following the plot of “Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses” in any way. (And, if you manage to miss “Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses,” I’m sure you won’t have a problem diving right into the already-shot “Bad Ass 3” without a problem.)
On the surface, “Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses” looks like a perfectly normal direct-to-video tongue-in-cheek action movie. However, there are some interesting elements that go along with the film that make it better than just your standard film.
But first, let’s look at the movie on the surface. The film follows Frank Vega (Danny Trejo), an aging resident of Los Angeles who made a name for himself in the previous film for dispensing vigilante justice. After being made an honorary police officer, Vega finds himself wrapped up in another case of justice to be served. One of the kids who works out at his gym, whom he has grown fond of and thinks of his adopted son, is murdered by a drug king pin’s men.
Vega takes a stand against drugs in his neighborhood. Along with his not-so-pleasant friend Bernie Pope (Danny Glover), Vega tracks down the drug lord and tries to put an end to his reign of terror.
You’ve got to hand it to Danny Trejo. The man has made a cottage industry for himself starring in direct-to-video action films. Sure, he’ll do an occasional big film like the “Machete” movies or most recently “Muppets Most Wanted,” but his real bread and butter comes from the run-and-gun modern version of Roger Corman’s meat grinder. Whether it’s a “Death Race” sequel or his own new franchise like “Bad Ass” or “Dead in Tombstone,” Trejo has become an entertaining draw in the home video market.
Unlike “Machete,” which is a big budget Hollywood movie masquerading as a grindhouse flick, most of these direct-to-video films have more of an authentic grindhouse flavor to them. The catch to this one isn’t just having an old guy kicking ass, however. The catch of this one is to keep reminding the audience that he’s an old guy. Trejo proudly shows his eligibility for the AARP, and as his sidekick, Danny Glover is definitely too old for this shit.
And that’s the fun in the film. It’s not to be taken seriously. It’s not to be taken realistically. It’s made for fans of Danny Trejo, and damn it if that guy just isn’t likeable enough to make it work.
Still, the story is really generic with some extremely two-dimensional villains. They seem to have been dropped in from any other run-of-the-mill direct-to-video actioner, making the Dannys the only thing that stands out in the movie.
Also worth noting is the fact that the entire “Bad Ass” franchise is the only thing that director Craig Moss has done that isn’t a spoof movie. This is a great thing, even if these films aren’t anything to write home about. However, with painful credits like “Breaking Wind,” “30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It,” it’s nice to see him do an actual narrative.
While “Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses” isn’t a film anyone needs to speed through a school zone to see, it’s worth a look on a lazy weekend for a buck or two. At the very least, it shows some interesting things from the director and its star.