In fact, you don’t really need more information to enjoy this awesome sequel. We’re given a quick recap explaining that Vietnam vet Frank Vega (Danny Trejo) has become a local hero after standing up to bad guys on the bus. The video of the encounter goes viral and pretty soon “Bad Ass” (as Frank is dubbed) is the talk of the town. His straightforward vigilante justice is refreshing in a world of bureaucracy and ineffectual law enforcement, but in general, Frank leads a more retiring life. Three years later, we find him running a community center in East L.A., teaching young men to box and serving as a mentor/father figure. When his most promising young protege falls in with the wrong crowd and is murdered, Frank can’t help reverting to Bad Ass mode and setting out to track down the killers.
This time he’s joined by Bernie (Danny Glover) an agoraphobic convenience store owner who reaches his breaking point when his store is robbed by thugs. Together Bernie and Frank start piecing together clues, kicking ass, and taking names. It sounds a little overplayed, seeing as how Danny Glover was “too old for this sh*t” when Lethal Weapon came out twenty-six years ago, but now he really is creaky and grey, and there’s something satisfying about watching two old guys wander into a frat party and show a bunch of drunken numbskulls what’s what. The storyline is straightforward and uncomplicated, leaving you free to enjoy the easy camaraderie between the two men, the winking but not-too-cheesy humor, and some delightfully bad ass action. And just in case you thought this movie wouldn’t melt your heart, you’ve got Danny Trejo playing BARBIES with the little sister of the murder victim. Seriously! Is it any wonder her mother develops a quick crush on him?
This nice thing about movies like Bad Asses and Last Vegas is that it provides a vehicle for beloved actors who just happen to belong to the Baby Boom generation. Instead of trying to shoehorn older actors into roles that are ridiculously too young for them, or writing them off altogether, we’re starting to see smarter age-appropriate roles pop up. No sense in wasting this pool of talent or ignoring that finds them appealing.
“The Making of Bad Asses” is included as a special feature.