Starring: Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton, Ron Perlman
You may like this if you liked: Machete (Robert Rodriguez, 2010), Hobo with a Shotgun (Jason Eisener, 2011), Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
Vietnam veteran Frank Vega (Trejo) has lived a humble life forgotten by society, but one day when on a city bus he witnesses two thugs threatening an elderly man, he subsequently and inevitably intervenes giving them a good kicking. The fight is recorded by another passenger on their phone, the video is YouTube sensation and Vega becomes a local hero and frequently referred to as ‘Bad Ass’. After the hype has died down Frank’s best friend is murdered by a criminal gang. The police show little interest in solving his best friends murder so Frank decides to, yes you guessed it, take things into his own hands and get vengeance, while at the same time uncovering crooked cops, mayors etc all while wearing a bum bag. As you do. Now, bum bag aside, that does sound like a completely original and non-clichéd plot doesn’t it?
Let us just all get one thing clear; this film is called Bad Ass and stars Danny Trejo as the protagonist. Anyone who has even the basic knowledge of action films should already know what to expect here. So, yes it has such a cut and pasted plot from any other B movie action flick that could easily have Steve Austin, John Cena, Chuck Norris, Steven Segal etc. as the protagonist. This story is as predictable as anything like that, but would we want it any other way? Every character is some caricature; most of them really should be able to win a fight with Danny Trejo if it wasn’t Danny’s film, and yes he even gets the girl. There is indeed no point in reviewing this film properly as of course it is rubbish, predictable and clichéd. I knew it would be, and so should anyone else. Anyone who watches it only has themselves to blame. It is called Bad Ass for god’s sake!
However, there are redeeming features and it may be better to compare this thing to the films of such thespians as I just mentioned. This film knows its place, and never skirts from what it knows it is. This actually produces some strange comforting feeling when watching it, as you know where you stand and you can just relax, switch your brain off and sit back. If you are one night wanting a film to really make you think or shock you then you are never going to choose a film called Bas Ass are you?!? For reasons I have mentioned this is a perfectly watchable and adequate addition to the action B movie collection, especially due to its most redeeming feature: The comedy. As per usual this is generally laughing at and not with, but the moment where Danny Trejo dons an outrageous suit for a hot date will remain with me for a while. Also the fact Frank is an internet sensation and occasionally has random ‘fans’ turn up to help him may be a slightly convenient plot device, but it does make Bad Ass at least a little different and does add a little to the entertainment factor.
In summary, it is called Bad Ass and stars Danny Trejo in the lead role, that pretty much speaks for itself!