Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
As of this writing, Danny Trejo has a whopping 25 films in various stages of development.  How is that even possible?  This cat would seriously have to be in three or four places at the same time for this to happen.  Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Madsen both just texted me to let me know that's too much acting work for one man.  I mean in between the 'Bad Ass' from a couple of years ago and this sequel 'Bad Asses', Danny has been in like 35 movies and roughly 25 TV show episodes.  I'm not mad at him, but the man is 70 and I just worry about him is all.  Just wanted Danny T. to know that a world without Danny T. is a much less colorful world… so slow it down a bit.  Let some other older Mexican guys get some work.  George Lopez comes to mind.  But this sequel to the wildly erratic but sporadically entertaining 'Bad Ass' is better in almost every way than the previous movie, while still being wildly erratic and sporadically entertaining.

Last time we saw Frank Vega (Trejo) he had cleaned up his neighborhood from thuggery and corruption and life was good.  Today Frank is running a boxing gym connected to the convenience store run by the even older, crustier and angrier Bernie Pope (Danny Glover).   But life is still good, especially because his star boxing pupil is about to go pro.  Until, tragically, his life is snuffed out by some seriously evil people. 

Now Frank is sad, made sadder by the fact that this boy has left behind the cutest baby sister as well as a hot mother in Rosaria (Jacqueline Obradors).  One we thing we know about Frank Vega from the two movies we've seen with this guy, is that he does amazingly well on the hot single mother circuit.  Rosaria, well aware of Franks history as a badass, would like Frank to find out who killed her son and bring these evil people to justice in his own special way, especially considering the police are doing nothing about this, but Frank is trying to lean back and let the police do their job.
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That was until these evil people brought the fight to him.  Kind of.  Not really.  It just seemed like a cool thing to say because the truth of the matter is that Frank is causing all the trouble.  Turns out these people are pushing prescription pills in Frank's neighborhood, and he can't have that.  

The problem is that the man behind this drug empire is Argentinian diplomat Leandro Herrera (Andrew Divoff) and he needs Frank silenced.  And he would have silenced Frank too, if the angry agoraphobic dude that runs the convenience store didn't conquer that agoraphobia and beat these bad dudes near to death with his hockey stick.  He used to be an ex-hockey player with eyes on the being the Jackie Robinson of the NHL until the WHITE MAN crushed his dreams.  He's been pissed off ever since.

Herrera has just made himself some enemies, enemies which should be pretty darned easy to take care of, one would think, but you don't know Frank and Bernie like we know Frank and Bernie, plus these bad people have kidnapped the pretty lady, to the surprise of no one.  The only thing we want to see is if Danny Glover going to revoke this bad guys diplomatic immunity.  That's we are waiting for.

Like the film that came before it, 'Bad Asses' really isn't a very good movie.  It still erratic, not knowing what kind of movie it wants to be… a comedy, a parody, an action movie, a cracked loves story… and despite the comedy and the inclusion of a cute kid, it's far too violent to be enjoyed by the whole family, and there are a lot of moments where director Craig Moss' directions seems, well, directionless.  But these were the same issues with last movie.

What makes this one better than the one that came before it is that eventually this movie settles into being a semi-clone of 'Lethal Weapon' only with two Roger Murtaugh's instead of a Riggs character, and to that end both Trejo and Glover are fun to watch.  Both of the old dudes embrace the fact that they are archaic, they play it up to the hilt, they have some real chemistry working together, and the two of them keep this nonsense hurtling forward.   Toss in another semi-old guy in Andrew Divoff playing a variation of the same character he's been overplaying for the last thirty or so years and now you have a trio of actors who don't have to dig too terribly deep to give us some solid characterizations.  I also observed that Mr. Divoff spoke Spanish very well, but then as I just learned he's actually Venezuelan and not Russian, like usually plays.  Go figure.

Even the romance aspect, though still wildly unbelievable, worked better.  The last movie it was Joyful Drake, who in addition to being close to 40 years younger than our star, also seems out of the reach of 98.8 percent of the men on the planet Earth, especially Frank Vega.  Jacqueline Obradors however is only 25 or so years younger than our star and seems out of the reach of a mere 94.6 percent of all men on the planet Earth.   Including Frank Vega.  But still, that's better. 

True enough, 'Bad Asses' is more of the same, more suspect action, more fractured narratives, more of a story hunting for a theme, but it's slightly better more of the same.  And we can at least be happy about that.
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