Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Sung Kang
You may like this if you like: Guns, violence, grumbling or all three.
Here Sly plays a veteran hit man Jimmy Bobo (a real fear inducing name isn’t it?) that is good at what he does (of course he is). After what seems to be a text book job, there is then a hit on them leaving his partner dead. After learning that his hit was on a corrupt ex police officer, Stallone is determined to exact his revenge. He finds an unlikely ally in a young by-the-book Washington detective Taylor Kwon (Kang), the ex partner of the man Bobo killed. Together the two fist fight, bicker, grumble (whinge in Kwon’s case) and smash their way through a city of fellow hit men, corrupt officials and Christian Slater as they search for the truth surrounding their respective ex partner’s deaths.
Well they say movies often come in twos and maybe it was no coincidence that Planet Hollywood’s two prodigal sons released films at very similar times, and both with less than subtle titles. Well I had the ‘fortune’ of seeing both within a few days of each other and though both obviously have their tongue firmly in their heavily wrinkled cheeks I personally enjoyed Arnie’s offering that little bit more. However there is fun to be had here. The script and story are horrifically clunky and clichéd and it is only Stallone’s stoic self awareness that makes it quite as entertaining as it is. His tongue in cheek delivery and surprising comic timing actually save Bullet to the Head from being what is otherwise a completely dire text book B-movie. Though admittedly I am not sure how intentional this was as per usual the laughs are more at than with.
Veteran director Walter Hill does give good action and Stallone grunts his way through the scenes still looking the part. Jason Momoa has also certainly found his niche, do not expect him receiving any Oscar nominations anytime soon but he genuinely looks the part as a fellow assassin. When he is on screen you know people will die. Badly.
The actual story itself is a potentially good premise for a fun buddy movie, and though Stallone seems game Sung Kang is an absolute charisma vacuum. Admittedly the weak and flat script does not help, but he is just plain annoying and impossible to like as he whines and moans his way through the story. Meanwhile Christian Slater is obviously wondering whatever happened to his career. At 88 minutes this film knows not to outstay its welcome, but there are so many own goals that it does really try our patience at times. Admittedly, this is still just about watchable escapist mindless fun, but only just. However, in a market absolutely crammed with this type of film, there are better alternatives such as Arnie’s or Statham’s latest.
Stallone’s efforts are commendable and there is some decent action, but this is an only just watchable shoddy action B-movie. A late, late Saturday night movie only.