Looking for a Bad Movie of the Week I found this one on Amazon Prime Video. Thanks much, Amazon. This is Bad Ass from 2012 out of Amber Lights, LLC/Silver Nitrate. Details are from Wikipedia.
This stars Danny Trejo as Frank Ryan Vega, AKA “Bad Ass.” You know this is going to be an art film. The titles are a dead giveaway. This is going to be very artsy and little else.
First a flash-back. Frank started life growing up in the country where he and a high school sweetheart made great plans for the future. She would wait for him. Then he went off to war. She didn’t wait.
Service injuries made him unqualified for the police academy, and he had no other marketable skills. He set himself up in business as a hotdog street vendor. He grew old and cynical, but not bitter. Everything changes for Frank when he is forced to bust the chops of a couple of skinheads making trouble on a city bus. He gets recognition from the community and becomes famous as “Bad Ass.”
His mother dies, and he inherits the house. He moves in, living in retirement. A last meeting with an old army buddy (Harrison Page) changes the course of his life. You know this is going to be Klondike’s next to the last scene in the movie, because he gives Frank a flash drive for safe keeping. What’s on the flash drive that’s going to cost Klondike his life?
Klondike puts down his beer and goes out for cigarettes and gets murdered. The police seem uninterested in solving Klondike’s murder, so Frank takes it on himself. He goes to the scene of the crime and recovers clues the police did not bother to look for. One is a shell casing from an M9 Beretta. Another is a pendant with a woman’s picture. Frank uses these clues to start his search for Klondike’s killer.
Throughout, city bus maps illustrate the progress of Frank’s investigation. Along the way he gets the chance to bust chops on a passel of bad guys.
Of course, the secret is on the flash drive. Mayor Williams (Ron Perlman) and his henchman Panther (Charles S. Dutton) discuss the need to recover the flash drive. A lot of brutality will have to be expended.
Meanwhile, Frank hooks up with the woman next door (Joyful Drake), who has recently shown her husband the door. Her name is Amber.
Amber has a little kid, who is a computer whiz. Together, Frank and Martin (John Duffy) explore the contents of the flash drive. The bunch of it is incriminating for the mayor.
In his quest, Frank eventually annihilates all the opposition but Panther. Each commandeers a bus, and they go one-to-one on Los Angeles streets, destroying both buses, plus a large collection of street iron, a row of parking meters, and what appears to be a hotel lobby. Nothing else left, Frank and Panther meet for a showdown on the sidewalk, and Frank is the one left standing at the end. He is a hero again and several times over.
What you watch this movie for is to see justice done in a most satisfactory way, and you want to see Bad Ass stomp a bunch of bad guys. It’s also a nice story about police detective work being done by a retired street vendor.
A lot of other stuff is lacking. Such as continuity. You will not miss this as you watch Bad Ass. Frank accepts the offer of a ride along from his friend Office Malark (Patrick Fabian). He gets in the car, carrying a bag of groceries.
Malark tells Frank to forget the whole business, and Frank disagrees. He gets out. Somewhere the bag of groceries has disappeared.