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Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses

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    Christian Bates-Hardy
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  • Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses



    Released by: 20th Century Fox
    Released on: April 8, 2014
    Directed by: Craig Moss
    Cast: Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Andrew Divoff
    Year: 2014
    Purchase from Amazon

    The Movie

    Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses is the direct-to-video sequel to the 2012 vigilante action film Bad Ass, loosely based on the AC Transit Bus fight viral video. The movie opens with a brief rundown of the first movie, introducing Danny Trejo as Frank Vega, a Vietnam veteran who beat up a man on a bus and became a local hero in the process. Fast forward three years, and the titular Bad Ass is now an amateur boxing coach at a neighborhood gym. When his young boxing protégé is murdered by drug dealers, Vega teams up with an agoraphobic shopkeeper and ex-hockey player named Bernie Pope (Danny Glover) to clean up the neighborhood and take down the drug cartel.

    Bad Asses combines the plot of an 80s Cannon film with the humor of The Odd Couple, or at least it tries to. The action never reaches the crazed heights of even lower-tier Cannon films, and the comedy is a strange cross between frat boy humor and the kind of jokes you'd hear in something like Old Dogs or Last Vegas. Jokes about adult diapers, fanny packs and the AARP. The movie plays out like Lethal Weapon for geriatrics, and Danny Glover was definitely cast so that he could resume his role from that series here. Director Craig Moss is known for directing lame parodies with long titles like The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Super Bad About It, if that gives you any indication of what to expect here. Most of the humor is broad, cornball stuff, but if you're not predisposed to dislike Bad Asses based on its premise alone, then you'll probably find yourself laughing with the movie as much as you'll laugh at it.

    There's a lot of unintentional humor to be found in the movie's cheap special effects, sloppy editing and sub-par stunt work. The explosions look ridiculously fake, like Sharknado fake, and you could make a drinking game out of every time the movie cuts away from Trejo to show his blatantly obvious stunt double doing things the 69-year old actor is no longer capable of. It's more than a little sad that the same actor who was so intimidating in Desperado and Con Air isn't capable of throwing a few punches on camera anymore. Machete don't do stunts.

    Despite not being responsible for any of the action, Danny Trejo is quite charming and likeable as Vega. It's obvious that he's having fun playing a character his own age while still getting to be the bad ass. Bad Asses also occasionally shows him in a grandfatherly role, which isn't something we often get to see from him. Danny Glover is basically reprising his Murtaugh role from Lethal Weapon here, but his performance is a reminder of what made him such a popular actor in the first place. His line delivery and comedic timing are impeccable, and his physical comedy skills are still strong despite almost being 70 himself. Rounding out the cast of older character actors, Andrew Divoff (Toy Soldiers, Wishmaster) continues his career long tradition of playing the villain, and is impressively adept at playing the heel in both English and Spanish. The rest of the cast are fine but forgettable, although careful viewers will recognize former child actor Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire, Like Mike) as Hammer, a frat boy drug dealer.

    Despite being Rated R, Bad Asses doesn't push its rating very much. There's some brief nudity and a little bit of blood, but aside from an icepick to the eye scene that comes out of nowhere, there's no gore and the language isn't very crude. Considering how coarse mainstream comedies are these days, it's surprising that this didn't get a PG-13 rating. The pacing of the movie is somewhat touch and go. It gets sidetracked a bit too often with a romantic subplot involving Trejo and the mother of the dead boxer, and comedic hijinks and banter between Trejo and Glover. At a breezy 91 minutes though, these Bad Asses don't overstay their welcome.

    Audio/Video/Extras

    Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses is presented in widescreen 1.781 on a 25GB single layer disc, and the video presentation is much better than what you would expect. This is very sharp, highly detailed transfer. Based on the quality and professional presentation of the image on this Blu-ray, this easily could have been released as a theatrical feature. Color presentation is bold and vivid in both daytime and night scenes, and there is a nice level of shadow detail throughout. Skin tones appear natural. Overall the visual presentation on this Blu-ray is excellent for such a low budget release, and the production values (CGI explosions and obvious stunt doubles notwithstanding) definitely put it in a class above other shot-on-digital DTV productions.

    Audio options include a single English DTS Master Audio 5.1 track, and subtitles in English SDH and Spanish. The DTS 5.1 audio track will push a lot of bass in your subwoofer depending on your settings. The soundtrack is a fusion of Latin salsa with rock and contemporary hip-hop. Most of the audio comes from the center channels and the sub, and the movie doesn't totally take advantage of the full range of a 5.1 setup, but the sound quality is quite good overall. There is a nice mix of environmental sound in the background, the music is mixed evenly throughout the channels, and dialog is clear and free of any distortion.

    Extras on this disc include: a 10-minute featurette on the making of Bad Ass 2 and previews for In the Name of the King 3, Out of the Furnace, The Counselor , Bad Ass, 12 Rounds 2, and Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie. An UltraViolet digital copy of the film is also included with this release. The making of documentary features interviews with the cast members, including Danny Trejo and Danny Glover, who discuss what drew them to the project, what they liked about the film and their characters, and working with each other. Other cast members are interviewed but only to discuss how much they liked working with the two Dannys. It's a short puff piece, but if you're a fan of Trejo or Glover it's worth a watch.

    The Final Word

    Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses is an above average direct-to-video action comedy, despite the fact that the action isn't very good and humor consists mostly of racial stereotypes and old people jokes. However, there's still fun to be had here if you're willing to go along with the movie's premise of Death Wish meets The Bucket List (only without the grittiness of the former or the poignancy of the latter). Trejo acts so often in DTV productions like this that he sometimes has the tendency to phone it in or just reprise his Machete role, but that's not the case here, where he comes across as authentic and charming. It's also nice to see Glover in an action comedy again, and the 67-year old actor proves that he's not exactly “too old for this shit” just yet. Bad Asses is a self-aware throwback to an older style of film, but it succeeds on being an amusing twist on that formula.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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