Director: Walter Hill
Writer: Walter Hill, Alessandro Camon, Alexis Nolent
Producer: Joel Silver
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christian Slater, Jason Momoa
Running Time: 91 min.
By Mighty Peking Man
Walter Hill, the acclaimed director of some of the most greatest, testerone-filled films (Warriors, 48 Hours and Last Man Standing) of our time returns with Bullet to the Head, his first theatrical release in over 10 years.
Based on Alexis Nolent’s French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tete, Bullet to the Head stars Sylvester Stallone as a tough New Orleans hitman who teams up with a by-the-book police officer (Fast Five’s Sung Kang) to bring down a ruthless enemy they want for their own reasons.
Have you ever woke up extra early for work to avoid traffic, only to realize your car keys have been misplaced, which in turn makes you more late than you’ve ever been? Or maybe instead of having a pizza delivered, you decide to cook yourself a healthy dinner, which resulted in your house being burnt to the ground? Well, that’s what Bullet to the Head is. It’s the blueprint for what should have been a nice little action flick, but the finished product is a complete disaster. What a waste of a perfect recipe: an in-your-face title based on a cool comic book; a prolific director who is worshipped by genre buffs around the globe; and a respected, tatted up action star who physically looks like he’s still on his peak of manhood, despite being 66 years old. It’s also R-rated for violence, which is always a positive thing.
Even though I was looking forward to Bullet to the Head, my expectations were moderately low. I wasn’t looking for originality or clever dialogue. I wasn’t expecting Hill to re-create the magic of 48 Hours or even Another 48 Hours. After watching The Expendables and its sequel, all I wanted was a decent action movie from Stallone. Basically, I wanted something along the lines of Tango & Cash.
The main problem with Bullet to the Head is everything. There’s not a single hair of chemistry between any of the actors no matter how you mix and match them. The plot is basic, yet the way it’s presented makes it a clusterf*ck that passes from one scene to the next. There’s a style with the way it was edited (sped up/slowed down panning with sound effects and more nonsense I’d rather not describe) that makes it appear as if it was filmed in the late 90s. After about 20 minutes in, I lost interest in the plot and I no longer cared for the characters or anything they were saying or doing. I was this close to walking out of the theater and I’ve never walked out of a theater before.
The only way I can recommend Bullet to the Head is if I told someone to fast-forward to the action scenes, which are tight and brutal (which is why I gave the movie a 3/10, instead of a 0/10). But then again, this isn’t exactly a Jackie Chan flick from 1985, nor is it The Raid, so the fight scenes alone aren’t worth your time. With that said, I can’t recommend it unless you’re in it for pure curiosity.
At this point of his “action” career, Stallone needs to star and direct another Rambo movie, because the last one he did was a flawless victory. Sung Kang needs to buy less v-necks and stick to minor roles in those Fast & Furious films, because his presence, at least in this movie, is that of a card board cut out of himself. I almost hate to admit this, but even though Jason Momoa’s (Conan the Barbarian) charisma lies closer to the Barbarian Brothers than Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’s the best thing about Bullet to the Head.
As for Walter Hill? I think Quentin Tarantino said it best: “I think directors are like boxers. They need to know when to hang up the gloves.”
Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 3/10