20140514

A film review: 'Bad Ass' speaks for itself.

Origin: USA
Language: English
Director: Craig Moss
Producer: Ash R. Shah
Writers: Craig Moss, Elliot Tishman
Genre: Action
Casts: Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton, Ron Perlman
Release: April 13, 2012
Studios: Amber Lamps, LLC, Silver Nitrate
Distributors: Samuel Goldwyn Films, 20th Century Fox
Hey ho! This is not one of the films I said I'd review, right? Whatever, man! I suddenly feel like reviewing this one off of my massive library of films from my external hard drive which I've watched a while back... and it's not that recent too (the most recent one being David Fincher's Se7en). Let's get with it!

Okay. Maybe EVERYONE was wrong. Even though many have billed Robert Rodriguez's Machete (which also starred this mofo on the poster of the aptly-named film here) or anything that will or have spun-off of Quentin Tarantino and Rodriguez's exploitation double-feature Grindhouse as the most awesome B-movie tribute ever, I personally don't think so (save for Hobo With a Shotgun; that's in a whole other league). THIS one, in MY point of view, has the power to topple that poser off the top of the B-movie tribute list.

Just like its namesake, the film, which stars the, well... badass actor of Mexican descent we're all familiar with as Machete Cortez, whom I just realised his badassness, when he was actually even more badass back in his Desperado heyday (which I HAVE to watch, now that I've mentioned it!), is loosely based on a 3-minute-ish viral YouTube clip of a real life event. How creative! This is an even better source material than video games, novels, or a themed product line, as you can go totally nuts with the plot and execution! And boy did the filmmakers do that; especially with the latter!

In this film, the old man from the viral clip was re-imagined as Frank Vega, an actual Vietnam army veteran (when I said actual, what I meant to say is that the old man from the video faked this fact of him being involved in the war) who's having a hard time living in the modern society until he ended up becoming a YouTube sensation after his manhandling of two hostile Skinheads who threatens a fellow elderly in a bus on his way home were recorded and went viral. Because of his general don't-give-a-fuckness towards public nuisance, he had gained much popularity, earning the street moniker 'Bad Ass' and has attracted both unlikely allies; save for his best friend who's already on his side from the very beginning, and was also a fellow ex-'Nam veteran named Klondike Washington, whose death drives the plot of the rest of the film in Frank's pursuit to avenge his death and serve some kind of justice to it and enemies resulting from a secret mission that Klondike was involved in.

Now, the review part. The film starts to get cheesy the moment it begins; the unnecessarily draggy flashback of his past life (I don't hate it really, it's just that they should keep it brief). I mean, the way Frank narrated his flashback sounded totally scripted and has that kid's show's story time ring to it. Quite frankly, the ENTIRE film's dialogue delivery for the most part, sounded like that; especially when we see Mr. Vega is being nice to passer-bys and neighbours. Heck, even their reaction towards certain things are totally exaggerated. And while his violent actions in the bus towards the Skinheads actually had a motive, his later encounters with people that have some sort of connection with Klondike's death becomes increasingly, unreasonably bloody and over-the-top as his investigations and daily life routine progresses; he just went ahead and go apeshit on them poor bastards. Watch this film and you'll know where I'm getting at here.

Other than the story delivery, the logical defiance on the majority of the action scenes were also a little bit of a letdown for me; they are rendered super-choppily, like that EPIC BUS CHASE SCENE for example (yes... FREAKING BUSES, because cars are too mainstream!). I was hoping for it to have that jerky camerawork to happen (though the flashy editing did make up for its sluggishness). The fight scenes? They were WAY too sloppy, whether it is most of Frank Vega's showdowns or Klondike's only brawling scene right before his demise. It's an action film for God's sake! It's like you guys hesitated too much before kicking butt! I can see that in the actors' eyes, man! Two of these are like the only flaws that I see in this otherwise an almost perfect epitome of intentional bad taste in film, down to its hammy dialogues, catchy-as-fuck-yet-bad-for-the-ears soundtrack (there's even a Hip-Hop track called I Am a Bad Ass with the words 'badass' uttered repeatedly in the chorus that appears every time Frank currently does or already did something badass), and formulaic plot that solves perfectly by itself as if it was an easy mode play through of a kid's video game. Really. The plot started and then ended so fast.

On a final note, if cheesiness and feel good vibes in a mixed bag is your kind of boredom killer, then Bad Ass definitely won't disappoint. Frank Vega, a fanny-pack wearing former 'Nam warrior, is indeed... a BAD ASS, in every sense of the word.

P/S: The next time you're in great pain, "call the amber lamps!"

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