Wednesday, May 8, 2013


BADASS (2012)

Well folks, Cinco De Mayo has come and gone, and I deemed it necessary to review a movie with a Latino edge to it.  Lo and behold, I stumbled across Badass, starring Danny "I'm In Damn Near Everything Out There" Trejo.  Rocking a mean beard that reminded me of Sid Haig circa 'Devil's Rejects', and a bad ass belt pouch, he's cleaning up the mean streets in style.  Let's dive in and see what we're in for.

This is the story of Frank Vega, a simple Mexican-American who just wanted to serve his country in the Vietnam War.  Unfortunately, a bullet to the leg ended ended his time there early.  That was the first in a run of bad luck.  Upon his return to America, he learns his girlfriend has moved on and started a family, his application to the town police academy is rejected, and he gets turned down repeatedly by companies he looks to work for.  He winds up working a hot dog stand until present day.... 

Things take a brief turn upwards when he stands up to a couple of skinheads picking on an old man on a bus, thoroughly kicking their asses when they didn't stop pushing him.  The scuffle gets recorded and posted online, making him a minor celebrity in the town.  These good times don't last however.  A few months later, his best friend gets shot in an alley.  When it hits him that the cops aren't doing enough to solve this crime, he finally decides to get some justice of his own.

Yes you are Danny, yes you are.

This is a rare flick in that there is a protagonist that I not only like, he actually tugged on my heartstrings here and there.  And it was Danny Trejo playing him!!  Don't get me wrong, I've never been disappointed in the roles I've seen Danny play.  But this flick made me feel a lot of sympathy for the character of Frank Vega.  He has had a rough life, and to see him get praise and respect from his fellow townsfolk tugged my heartstrings in a way that an emotionless robot like myself rarely feel.  This may be a surprise, given the huge roles Danny has played, but this may be one of my all-time favorite performances of his.  It was nice to see him play a character who is humble, shy to a certain point, and actually doesn't want to fight anybody unless absolutely necessary. 

As far as the rest of the movie goes, I felt the supporting cast also did a very good job in their roles.  Anybody watching this to see Ron Perlman may be disappointed, as his part is very small, only a couple of talking scenes.  Another of the biggest pluses of the movie is the camerawork.  The shaky cam that's become so sickeningly popular was kept to a minimum, which nowadays makes me want to give a two star minimum just for any movie having scenes I can actually watch. 

Aww, shit.  Now I gotta do The Stranger with my good hand!!

If there is one downside, there really isn't a whole lot of action.  There are a number of fights, but Trejo jacks most of the bad guys up really quickly.  The end fight is decent enough though, but nothing truly epic.

In the end, I totally recommend watching Badass.  It may not look like much, but it's got it where it counts.  Well, except for gratuitous nudity that is.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Action Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

- Ken Bucklesworth, over and out.

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