A kind of geriatric variation on the Lethal Weapon franchise (but with a much lower budget, fewer stars, and less explosive set pieces), Craig Moss’ Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses even adds actor Danny Glover to the cast to keep the Lethal Weapon connection secure. Under any circumstances, however, this made-for-home video sequel to star Danny Trejo’s original film is strictly moviemaking by the numbers: some cutting wisecracks between the old codgers, some butt kickin’ of the bad guys, and some action sequences that the stars basically walk through.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Run Time: 1 Hr. 31 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, UltraVioletkeep case
Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
Release Date: 04/08/2014
Frank Vega (Danny Trejo) runs a Los Angeles neighborhood community center which specializes in boxing. When his most promising young fighter Manny Parkes (Jeremy Ray Valdez) is murdered for deciding to leave the drug trafficking racket for a professional boxing career, Vega promises Manny’s widowed mother (Jacqueline Obradors) that he’ll avenge the young man’s death. Local bodega owner Bernie Pope (Danny Glover), who also liked Manny and has a grudging respect for Vega, volunteers to help in the manhunt even though he’s not in the best of health (he does swing a mean hockey stick, however). The drug kingpins Leandro Herrera (Andrew Divoff) and his wayward son Adolfo (Ignacio Serricchio) are the targets that Frank and Bernie must go after, but there are squads of bodyguards to get through and diplomatic red tape that protects the Herreras from prosecution without clear-cut evidence of crime, a fact continually driven home to the dynamic duo by concerned Officer Malark (Patrick Fabian).Director Craig Moss’ script divides the film’s ninety minutes into three neatly constructed acts: Manny’s murder and Vega’s search for the identity of the perpetrators take up the film’s first third, Frank and Bernie’s doling out punishment to some (but not permanently to the head honcho, saved by his diplomatic immunity) takes up the film’s middle third, while the final third has the retaliation of the bad guys on Frank and Bernie and on Manny’s mother (kidnapped with plans for her to be sold into slavery) and the race against the clock for her rescue. The film follows this path slavishly allowing little tension to build and certainly no surprises to be sprung on the viewer. (Well, there a couple of unintentionally surprising moments: when an ice pick is jammed completely into the right eye of young Adolfo and yet it only blinds him and doesn’t kill him. Later on, the father doesn’t even seem perturbed that his progeny has been mutilated). Danny Trejo has played a tough street fighter in quite a number of films, but is the best climax the screenwriter can come up with a fist-to-fist showdown between Frank and the elder Herrera? There’s not much tension about the outcome of that encounter. The continual putdown dialogue between Frank and Bernie doesn’t contain a shred of wit or finesse, and continual references to bodily functions for the elderly aren’t really as amusing as the filmmakers would like them to be.The Dannys Trejo and Glover have enough on-screen chemistry to make their pairing, however enfeebled by age as it is, reasonably entertaining even though Glover is outfitted in a ludicrous lime green tracksuit for most of the film, not the kind of attire that would normally allow him to slip through heavily guarded warehouses of drugs which the duo so neatly are able to maneuver. Jacqueline Obradors makes a lovely damsel in distress as the widow (and inevitable love interest for Trejo), and Jeremy Ray Valdez shows a lot of charisma in his regretfully short two scenes as the slain young boxer. Andrew Divoff and Ignacio Serricchio as the father and son villains play their roles with relish: the former suavely underplayed while the latter is obnoxiously spoiled and braggadocios. In one scene parts are two young actors, familiar to movie and TV fans, who are playing insufferable frat boys who get their comeuppance: Charlie Carver (one half of the Carver twins) and Jonathan Lipnicki who’s certainly grown up from that adorable tyke in Jerry Maguire.
The Production Rating: 2/5
The made-for-home video film is framed at 1.78:1 and is presented in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. Picture quality is astonishingly terrific with crisp sharpness, vibrant color (and very believable skin tones), and contrast dialed in to perfection throughout. The budget may have been small for this enterprise, but the picture quality could not have been bettered. The film has been divided into 28 chapters.
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers a perfectly decent but not exemplary audio experience. Dialogue has been well recorded and has been placed in the center channel. The music by Brian H. Kim and a succession of rap tunes get a respectable spread through the fronts and rears but with the action scenes, much more could have been done to envelop the audience with the ambient sounds.
Audio Rating: 3.5/5
The Making of Bad Asses (10:00, HD): a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie with Dannys Glover and Trejo describing their characters, director-writer Craig Moss explaining the plot, and the stars plus actors Jacqueline Obradors, Ignacio Serricchio, and Jeremy Ray Valdez praising the director and one another for their expertise and professionalism.Ultraviolet: code sheet enclosed in the casePromo Trailers (HD): In the Name of the King 3, Out of the Furnace, The Counselor.
Special Features Rating: 1/5
Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses is a completely predictable made-for-home video offering, but for those looking for a rather mindless ninety minutes of comic action, it can serve as a reliable time passer.
Overall Rating: 2/5
Reviewed By: Matt Hough
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