Bad Ass movie review

Ever since Machete, Danny Trejo showed the world what many action film fans knew all along, he’s a Bad Ass. In Bad Ass, Danny Trejo plays Frank Vega, a former Vietnam vet who is your average elderly man that wonders where did the time go. Suddenly, he becomes internet famous when a video of him stopping a couple of skinheads from beating up black man goes viral. Frank is not typically a violent man, but when a couple thugs kill his longtime best friend, Frank vows vengeance for his fallen brother.

Bad Ass is your stereotypical classic Charles Bronson storyline. Guy’s best friend gets killed and a guy seeks revenge. On a funny side note, two of Danny Trejo’s first acting roles were in Charles Bronson films, Deathwish 4: The Crackdown and Kinjite: Forbidden Subject.

Danny Trejo does a great job in this film at making you genuinely feel for his character. In a kind of nice change of pace, the film never once has Danny use a gun during his warpath for revenge. In someways, Danny Trejo’s character is very Jackie Chan-ish, in the sense that he never wants to fight and just happens to be the nicest guy after kicking your ass. The film starts off great, giving me a Kick-Ass meets Deathwish vibe, but it’s later on in the film that the story loses steam.

The two main villains are played by Charles S. Dutton (Alien 3) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy), though you hardly ever see them in the film. Ron Perlman plays the corrupt Mayor of Los Angeles and Charles plays Panther, a kingpin that does the Mayor’s dirty work. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no build up for Charles’ character and you only see Ron Perlman in about two scenes.

One part of the film that really bugged me was when Frank is standing in the same room with the man that killed his friend, and he is not even aware of it. The film shifts the focus of Frank’s revenge to the man that ordered the hit (Panther), and he totally forgets the guy that actually pulled the trigger. I don’t know if the filmmakers were trying to go for a “Revenge is Bittersweet” message or it’s just bad writing, but the end result very bland.

Bad Ass could have been a great movie. It had a new spin on a classic B-movie story arc. It had a good build up for its protagonist, but it just lacked a defined main villain. It would have been far better if Charles Dutton’s character had been the man that actually killed his friend, or even Ron Perlman. I would have loved to have seen Ron Perlman and Danny Trejo duke it out. Still, Bad Ass is a fun movie and is definitely worth watching if you happen to be a fan of Danny Trejo or classic Charles Bronson movies.

Bad Ass
Director by Craig Moss
Written by Elliot Tishman
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rated: R
Starring Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton and Ron Perlman
Summary: A Vietnam veteran who becomes a local hero after saving a man from attackers on a city bus decides to take action when his best friend is murdered and the police show little interest in solving the crime.

Grade: B

You can watch the trailer for Bad Ass in the video below.

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