Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review 187: "Bullet to the Head"

"You had me at 'fuck you'".

Shot to the Heart

      Alright, be honest. Who else completely forgot this movie existed? I mean, I liked Stallone as much as the next guy, but man did this movie fade out of existence quickly, mostly because it was a box-office bomb. And as always on Cinema Won, I like to look at box-office bombs and decide if they deserved better. Hey, that could be a series that I'll do a few episodes of and abandon completely with no warning (Cartoons Won this week, guys!). Directed by Walter Hill (48 Hrs) and written by Alessandro Camon (The Messenger) is based of the graphic novel Du plomb dans la tete by Alexis Nolent (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) and Colin Wilson. It follows Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone), a hitman who is forced to team up with police officer Taylor Kwan (Sung Kang) to find out who killed Bobo's partner. It becomes personal however as Bobo's daughter Lisa (Sarah Shahi) is thrown into the mix. Bobo and Kwan are forced to face off against the likes of sleazy Baptiste (Christian Slater) and killer Keegan (Jason Momoa) in order to get to the killer, Robert Morel (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaaje).

Sculpted out of harden pudding.
Shock to the System

      To put it simply, no, Bullet to the Head didn't exactly deserve better. Filmmaking wise, the film is just kinda fine. I can't seem to muster up any kind of hate towards it, so there's that. The film is seriously in need of a sense of humor. It goes lifelessly for one mind-numbing action scenes to the next. Most of them are fine, though nothing we haven't seen before, like in other Stallone movies. And here he's at his most uninteresting. He plays the film so straight-faced that he has absolutely zero chemistry with is better co-star Sung Kang. The two never grow off of each other. In the end, Stallone still thinks killing people is the best way to handle thing, Kang still is by the books and they both still hate each other. If nothing changes from the start of the movie to the end of the movie, then what's the point of what's inbetween? It's not all the fun or exciting, so you got me.

Itch to the Scalp

      In all seriousness, the film accomplishes nothing. The only thing different about the state of the characters in the end of the film as opposed to the beginning is that they've killed more people. It just feels like the movie is setting up all these interesting set-pieces or funny scenes or developments and then they go nowhere. They seem to set up a running joke about Stallone's favorite bourbon, but that goes nowhere. There's a scene that takes place at a lavish party with full-nude women dancing because Christian Slater is an assh*le, and that's it. No joke about people being awkward around the naked women, no action scene in the actually party, just gratuitous nudity. Or how about when Kwan accidentally walks in on Lisa naked? Again, there's no joke, just the scene playing out like normal. Stallone and Momoa fight with axes and it's like the are playing it tree branches. There are a ton of potentially cool scenes here, but the movie just plays them perfectly straight. And where's the fun in that?

Hi, Jason Momoa.
The Verdict

      There isn't really a lot else to say about Bullet to the Head. Look, if you like Stallone or want to kill a few hours, then there are worse ways to do it then with Bullet to the Head. The action is fine, the acting is fine and at it's worst it's serviceable. However, there's not a ton of fun to be had here. The action is lifeless, the film is humorless and the set-ups have no payoff. Bullet to the Head is more like a mild headache. Bullet to the Head gets 3 stars out of 6.


  1. "Look, if you like Stallone or want to kill a few hours, then there are worse ways to do it then with Bullet to the Head."

    -like with an actual bullet to the head

    " In the end, Stallone still thinks killing people is the best way to handle thing"

    -but it is!

    1. The funny thing is I actually contemplated using that first joke, but the movie isn't that bad. After all, it isn't made by Tyler Perry.