Josh Wilding Reviews: BULLET TO THE HEAD
You've read my review of The Last Stand (find it HERE if you missed it), but how does director Walter Hill and star Sylvester Stallone's Bullet to the Head - based on based on Alexis Nolent's French graphic novel - match up? Hit the jump for my spoiler-free verdict!
Perhaps the biggest problem with Bullet to the Head is the fact that not a single character in the movie is even remotely likeable. 'James Bonomo' (Sylvester Stallone) is a hitman who sets out to avenge the death of his partner, and while he may be a cold blooded killer, Alessandro Camon's mediocre screenplay doesn't even attempt to give him any sort of depth or personality. Of course, the fact that Sylvester Stallone is such a dull and hard to believe presence on screen doesn't exactly help matters. Regardless of whether he's mumbling through his lines or shooting off one-liners that miss the mark time and again, this is a role he would have perhaps been better suited to taking on 20 or 30 years ago. Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent to the action genre in The Last Stand, this just does NOT work.
Unfortunately, Sung Kang's 'Taylor Kwon' - a clichéd do-gooder cop who ends up finding himself forced to work with the hitman - also doesn't get anywhere near enough in the way of decent material to make a difference and instead ends up as the butt of far, far too many borderline and outright racist jokes. The cast is filled out with forgettable performances from the likes of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ('Robert Nkomo Morel') and Christian Slater ('Marcus Baptiste'), although Sarah Shahi's 'Lisa Bonomo' does a good enough job that it will make you want to see her get the opportunity to take on bigger roles in the near future. Jason Momoa, perhaps best known for playing 'Conan' in an ill-fated reboot from a couple of years ago, is fine as 'Keegan'. However, he brings nothing of any note to this role and it could have easily been filled by pretty much any muscle bound actor.
Director Walter Hill's last film was 2002's Undisputed and Bullet to the Head is enough to make you wish that he had stayed in the world of television (where he actually did some great work on the likes of Deadwood). He fails to get any decent performances from his cast and delivers no remarkable visuals or action sequences which manage to make up for that. Admittedly, the final fight between Stallone and Momoa is good, but comes far too late to make any real difference. However, despite all of this, the film is still...watchable. Bullet to the Head is basically the kind of movie that you might flick on one night at home and enjoy, but it's hard to recommend making the effort to check it out at the cinema.
Bullet to the Head is direct-to-DVD drivel which is by no means terrible, although still certainly not the best way to spend 90 minutes when there are much better movies worth watching. It may be time to step out of the ring Sly...
In the film, a hitman teams with a young NYPD detective in a high-stakes investigation that leads from dingy back alleys all the way to the power corridors of New Orleans. The unlikely duo, brought together by two vicious murders, take on all who stand in their way, willing to sacrifice everything to exact revenge.
Sylvester Stallone as Jimmy Bobo
Sung Kang as Detective Taylor Kwon
Jason Momoa as Keegan
Christian Slater as Marcus Baptiste
Sarah Shahi as Lisa Bobo
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Morel
Jon Seda as Louis Blanchard
Holt McCallany as Hank Greely
RELEASE DATE: February 1st, 2013.
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