Bad Ass began in 2012, inspired by the real-life viral video of an old man beating someone senseless on a city bus. The real life incident was disturbing and complicated. Race played an obvious factor, as did mental illness (the supposed “bad ass” had some apparent psychological instability, while the victim was a black man). The wildfire popularity of the video was troubling. But the movie it inspired was something far simpler. Frank Vega (Danny Trejo) is videotaped putting some young punks in their place and is thrust into a new kind of celebrity. Bad Asses (2014) added Danny Glover to the mix as Bernie Pope, Vega’s best friend, but the results were a muddled bore.
Writer-director Craig Moss, the filmmaker behind each film, has streamlined the third film and also re-added the viral video element. The two Dannys are back as Vega and Pope. A bank security cam catches the geriatric pair whooping a bunch of would-be robbers. Vega delivers the money shot—an autographed baseball to the crotch of one of the armed men. The video makes the “bad asses” semi-celebrities, readily recognized by criminals and delinquents around the country. They get invited to Baton Rouge for the wedding of friend Carmen (Loni Love), but all is not what it seems with her picture-perfect life. Carmen is kidnapped and it’s up to the bad asses to rescue her and deliver some old school justice to her captors.
It’s not great storytelling, but it’s light, low-rent, action-comedy fun. John Amos is a great addition to the cast and by the end we’re teased with the possibility of a third film. The DVD has a 15-minute “making of” featurette that offers some decent behind the scenes material. The funniest stuff involves Danny Glover struggling to figure out how to properly deliver the line “Deez nuts!” There’s also some fight choreography footage feature stunt woman and actress Chelsea Bruland, who would be great to see again if the follow through with another Bad Ass installment.