A YouTube celebrity dubbed “Bad Ass” takes matters into his own hands after his best friend is gunned down.
Frank Vega (Danny Trejo) is a Vietnam vet that has struggled since returning home. One day, while riding on the bus, Vega stands up to a pair of skinhead thugs and is recorded knocking them out. The video becomes an Internet sensation and Vega becomes known as “Bad Ass” and is a local celebrity. After his mother passes away, Vega moves into her house with her dog and invites his best friend, Klondike (Harrison Page), to stay with them. Klondike tells Vega he has an important flash drive and then goes out for cigarettes where he is gunned down by men looking for the drive. Vega, now embracing being Bad Ass, must avenge his friend since the police do not seem to care.
Let me get this out of the way…Yes, Bad Ass is based on the Epic Beard Man video that was storming the Internet a few years ago. Yes, they made a movie based on that. Are you going to trust me when I say Bad Ass is actually a pretty solid movie?
Obviously inspired by other revenge films like Dirty Harry and Death Wish, Bad Ass doesn’t always take itself seriously. There are a few not-so-subtle nods to the original video (the fanny pack, Vega’s neighbor is named Amber Lamps, and there are at least two or three times someone says “you’re leaking!”, just to name a few) and it’s ludicrous to think that a YouTube video could be drawn out into a full length movie and I was scoffing about the entire thing myself until I watched it. It’s a dumb movie, no doubt about it, but I actually enjoyed it.
Danny Trejo is an actual bad ass so I’m glad he was cast as the lead in Bad Ass. If Charles Bronson was still alive I would have much preferred him, obviously, but I like Trejo a lot and he doesn’t get the love he deserves. My only real complaints about Bad Ass are that it tries to be funny in a few spots – and fails – and the neighbor/love interest and her son bugged the hell out of me. I’m sure the love interest was added to be more stereotypical of this brand of film, but it bogs everything down. If they had cut that (or even trimmed it) Bad Ass would be one of my new favorite brainless fun movies in a world where no more Charles Bronson films will ever be made.
I give it 3 videos that started it all out of 5.