Friday, February 1, 2013

Bullet to the Head Movie Review

Sylvester Stallone stars in Bullet to the Head

From our friends at DC Film Review...

I Got Your Old Guy

It’s a testament to Sylvester Stallone’s greatness (Yes, I said greatness) that Walter Hill’s Bullet to the Head survives its many holes and self-inflicted obstacles. Woeful dialogue, laughable gaps in common sense and gosh-awful acting can’t negate the positive effect Sly has on this ultimately enjoyable film.

Before you rush out to see it, allow me to clarify my position. Bullet to the Head is not a good movie per se... Far from it. Outside of Stallone, this film would be considered an epic failure (assuming anyone saw it.) But it does have Stallone, and it’s hard (impossible) not to enjoy him on screen. Call me old-fashioned, but I still enjoy watching ‘80s action stars kicking ass and collecting Social Security while doing it.

Even at 66, Sly proves a physical marvel. Getting the upper hand over 6’4 Jason Momoa is no easy task... especially when you consider their final showdown is with axes. Momoa makes a great villain, and (at half Sly’s age) shows potential for replacing Stallone one day... assuming the latter ever decides to hang up his barbells. Better still, Stallone adds much needed levity to an otherwise dreary production. Outside of a hilarious “coming clean” by Christian Slater (whose mere appearance generated laughter from our audience) Bullet to the Head has nothing going for it besides Sly.

In case you find that hard to believe, I offer the following evidence. Exhibit 1: Sung Kang as Detective Taylor Kwon. I can only assume Hill was going for a Lethal Weapon angle between Kwon and Stallone’s Jimmy Bobo (love the name.) It doesn’t work. Kang is terrible: His only positive appears to be his character’s reluctance to sue for discrimination after being referred to as chicken shit cop, Confucius, Kato and a samurai... to which he can only muster, ‘I’m Korean!’ Adding to his woes, Hill saddles Kang with an impossible ability to recover from gunshot wounds, and an even more confounding desire to arrest the one guy who keeps saving his life.

Exhibit 2 (and I’ll stop there, even though you know I could go further) is the dreadful array of side characters. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays the “mastermind” crook on crutches. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent him for coughing up lines like, ‘When I want your opinion, I’ll give you a brain.’ Hill’s screenplay (along with Alessandro Camon) has plenty more where that came from. Lines like, ‘Here’s the way it went down,’ ‘You packin?’ and ‘I’m on the case’ are littered throughout. Even Sly’s character gets stuck with, ‘Touch her and I’ll kill you with a fucking rock.’ Yo Adrian!

That said, just hearing Stallone utter such dribble is highly entertaining. If you like Sly, you’re gonna enjoy Bullet to the Head (to a point, of course.) He figures out a way to show off his Mr. Atlas physique ‘Let’s go take a bath!’ and still bashes heads with the best of ‘em. The final showdown between Jimmy and Keegan (Momoa) is pretty darn good, and is built up to nicely (way to go Mr. Hill, you got something right.)

Grade: C