Bullet to the Head

bullet-to-the-head-poster1

Sylvester Stallone returns to B-Movie badassery with “Bullet to the Head”, a straight forward action flick about a hit man who teams up with a cop in order to track down the clients who double crossed him and killed his partner.

It’s a decent use of your entertainment dollar, especially if you’re a fan of 80s action films, where the lone hero has to shoot his way through a string of underlings in order to get to the big baddie.

Jimmy Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) is a lifelong criminal and professional hit man. Working with another hitter, he completes a job without knowing who hired them. After killing their assigned target, the two hit men have a drink at a bar and discuss business. While Bonomo heads to the bathroom, his partner is stabbed… and Bonomo himself is nearly killed in a fight.

From Washington DC comes detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang), who was working a case involving the target of their hit. After visiting all the carnage in the morgue, he reaches out to  Bonomo (after connecting him to his dead partner). When the two meet, Kwon assures  Bonomo that he’s not interested in arresting him, but rather that he wants to team up to investigate the people who commissioned the job. Bonomo initially refuses, but he notices Kwon being tailed leaving the meeting, and in the process of saving Kwon’s life, the tenuous partnership begins.

The trail leads to a lawyer named Marcus Baptiste (Christian Slater), who was part of the team that contracted the hit initially. He’s working with a man named Morel (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), an African expatriate with considerable wealth and influence who’s been purchasing corrupt cops, judges, and politicians. Most importantly though, in the employ of these two men is the man who killed Bonomo’s partner, the aggressive, violent Keegan (Jason Momoa).

As Bonomo and Kwon close in, a showdown with Keegan looms.

The plot is about as straight forward and simplistic as you would ever want… in fact, it’s a stretch at times. A hit man and a cop? Cmon. And what are these bad guys up to? The villains are all ill-defined in terms of motives, back story, credibility, etc. There are any number of instances where, if you step back to question them, simply seem ridiculous. For one thing, apparently you can just kill cops with no repercussions whatsoever in Crescent City. In fact, I just think you can kill anybody you want. The only time I saw a cop approach Stallone’s character he was asking him to team up. But most of all, this is a movie that takes itself relatively seriously. It’s a B Movie no question about it, but it completely steers clear of the camp and comedy of last month’s “The Last Stand”.

Which is ultimately ok. “Bullet to the Head” is a throwback to the action movies of the 80s, where you have a defined hero and villain, a bunch of obstacles that the hero needs to shoot his way through in order to get to him, and not much else. Stallone is the star of the show, with his dead eyed, world-weary killer and watching him do his thing goes a long way towards forgiving the film its other shortcomings. This is a film that knows what it is, and isn’t trying to be much more. Stallone with a new tough guy persona, disposing of a bunch of disposables, until eventually squaring off against his evil counterpart. It’s a tried and true formula, that I enjoyed revisiting.

B-

48 thoughts on “Bullet to the Head

  1. Seriously? You must have been in a great mood to give this film any more than a C- A juiced up and tattooed Stallone movie. Well, at least his co-star Sung Kang is HAWT! My “only” reason to see this film. You feeling okay, Dan? “B-“? smh

    • Potentially the reason here for the disconnect is that you’re underestimating my Stallone fandom. Did you not see that I wrote like 45,000 words on “Rocky” earlier this week? :)

      Meanwhile, A C- is a really bad grade in my scale. There’s only two grades worse than that. And a B- is my “Minimal Recommendation”. So, I think I’m pretty comfortable with where I put it. ;)

      Sorry you didnt enjoy it more.

      • Sigh. I trust your review and film grade. Sigh. He just is so red in that film. Looks as if he were going to explode! I understand fandom. Can’t argue with you on that. Sigh. Okay, I’m done hating on Stallone now. Your review of “Rocky” is pretty sweet.

  2. :D Never disappointed. Not ever! Love your reviews and you know it! :) I think after Expendables, well, let’s just say I’ve seen one too many explosions too close together starring Stallone.

    • Yeah, I think that was what I liked the most about it too. This felt like a new Stallone character that would fit right in with Cobra, you know? LOL

      I dont know if it was direct to dvd bad, but it was pretty slight Ryan, I’ll definitely give you that!

  3. A throwback to 80s action movies, eh? Sounds good to me. Not sure if I’ll catch it in the theater, but this will be a definite rental at least.

    BTW, are you going to be watching/reviewing Stand Up Guys? Curious to hear your thoughts on that one.

    • Yuppers. That’s my plan for tomight. Review’ll be up around noonish tomorrow I figure.

      Have you seen it or does the cast just have you curious, like it does me. I will say this, my podcasting partner in crime liked it… so, that’s a good sign.

    • Little bit of a trope by now, isn’t it? LOL. Especially an assassin. That was more than a little funny to me. A) apparently he’s an assassin with a listed phone number b) He’s gonna hang out with a cop? Wha-at? LOL

  4. Alright, not going to watch this one anytime in the foreseeable future, but a good review nonetheless, and will give your blog a follow and be on the lookout for upcoming reviews. Check out my reviews, as well, if you get a chance. :)

  5. I liked it for all the same reasons that you did. There is not anything original here, but there is plenty of killing and Stallone plays it tough. Did you see the Cobra link with the Axes? If you are going to have touchstones in the movie, make sure they are from good movies. B- is a little generous but sometimes we can be in a generous mood.

    • LOL. I’m Captain Generosity anyways, dont you know that by now? LOL. :D

      Yeah, this is mainly a vehicle to put Stallone back to what he got famous for. I enjoyed it in that regard.

      And yeah! LOL It was hard to miss it. :D It definitely felt Cobra-esque in more than one instance, to me. Now all he needs is a model like Brigitte in there to hook up with!! LOL :D

  6. ahaha, didn’t know good ol’ Christian Slater was in this. I’m seeing it this weekend while I’m in Vegas. So, the fights are pretty good, or what? I’m not expecting a great story at this point., so that’s all I really want.

      • Well…. its not exactly Apocalypse Now or anything, LOL.

        I think the thing is, the trailer has a couple of wisecracks in it that I didnt even see in the movie. Even if they were, they were probably the only ones…. it doesnt make a lot of effort at being funny.

        But the very nature of it kept things light for me. You know? A lot of ridiculous stuff going on. :D

  7. Pingback: Bullet to the Head Review: You Had Me at F*ck You | Rorschach Reviews

  8. Pingback: LAMBScores: Warm Bullets and Stand Up Guys | The Large Association of Movie Blogs

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