<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Walter Hill. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater
Another movie from an 80s/90s action hero, which fills our hearts with glee in these troubled times of character-deprived CGI ‘fantasy’ movies. Bullet To The Head, that has some great one-liners from Sly Stallone, fails as a nostalgia film or even just a B-grade film for the lack of story and poor direction.
Wow, what a month; two movies from two big former action heroes: The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger and now Bullet To The Head with Sylvester Stallone. What’s next, another Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis? Umm… yeah!
So now it’s great that these original men who made our hearts pump and gave us thrills singlehandedly taking over armies have come back to satiate our need for nostalgia when we really need it. Arnie’s The Last Stand was also a small film, not blockbuster stuff with Arnie hanging from a fighter jet. But its heart was in the right place, it showcased Arnie as a real old action hero, maybe past his prime but definitely not ready for the old age home.
Bullet To The Head tries a bit too hard in its attempt to create a persona and attitude for the protagonist. That coupled with weak writing, lousy supporting characters/actors and horrible direction and editing ensure that Arnie is the winner of this round.
The film is based on some graphic novel apparently but that information doesn’t really help when you have a film, which is relatively incomprehensible as far as plot goes. Half way through the film you really don’t know what is going on, the motivations or who the hell these characters are and why they’re trying so hard to be cool.
Sly Stallone plays his part of the New Orleans hit man Jimmy Bobo sufficiently well with the necessary cool and some nice lines here and there. His partner in crime, the Washington DC Detective Kwan (Sung Kang) who gets all his work done over his BlackBerry and acts way too cocky for his own good is sadly a very weak sidekick, lacking emotion or depth. In fact, the bad guy played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is far more convincing. What the hell Christian Slater is doing in this movie, you may ask. So did I. Sad really, I used to like him.
Oh and Conan ‘the new’ Barbarian Jason Momoa as the hunky henchman mowing down everything in his path is icy cold. You can imagine him hitting the gym a lot more than those acting classes but unfortunately he’ll never be another Arnie or Sly. They have more personality in their little finger.
Bullet To The Head is a poorly edited B-movie that most agree would have been better straight to DVD but then I’d still rather see my old action heroes than the new CGI boys running around their CGI robots.