Love and a Bullet (2002) Poster

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7/10
Better than I expected...much better.
Curtis G.7 September 2003
When I first saw the trailer to this movie on some other action DVD, I thought, "You must be kidding me. This has got to be the worst straight-to-video HK-action rip-off ever made." But after watching the first few minutes of it on cable, I knew the trailer was all wrong. They'd focused on all the wrong elements. I found "Love and a Bullet" to be something of a black "Snatch"-type movie (no jokes, now), very tongue-in-cheek and enjoyably self-referential. The final battle, as silly as it was, was easier to swallow after the movie's setup. After all, it's not a straight gangsta-action movie; it's more of a black comedy. In both senses of the word. Definitely worth the 90-minute investment.
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Quirky
illeatyourdog10 June 2003
Picture this: a light-hearted action movie about a cold-blooded killer that does not hold back on the violence. Well that pretty much describes Love and a bullet. Ironically, whyat makes the the movie light-hearted is the honest and probably realistic reactions to many of the little speeches as well as certain actions that the main character has. A key example being when a fellow hitman gives him a speeck about "the life" and the main character simply says that after thinking about it for awhile he has no clue as to what his associate was talking about. Also, there are many points where this movie will fall into the typical hollywood syndrome of making the character overyl pathetic with the rush of emotion but it doesnt, instead, it makes him even more of a badass. Another unique aspect is that the majority of the movie is the main character reflecting on how he became a a hitman, eventually going into into his confusion over his presetn situation and comparing it to another similar event in which he fall s on love with a fellow hitman (or hitwoman to be more accurate). As for the action scenes, three movies came to mind: The Way of the Gun, Eqilibrium, and Legend of Drunken Master. The final martial arts bout at the end clearly shows its Legend of drunkne master unfluence with the villian fighting mainly on one foot and at oppne time balancing himself on one foot in a kick stance. Also, you kinda see a rugh draft of Equilibrium's gun-kata although Love and a Bulllet's obviously has break-dancing as a basis for it. As for way of the gun, i only though of that becuase there is an instance where a baddy is hiding behind a corner and his foot is visible by the hero resulting in the baddy's foot being shot.
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10/10
Ok...Some Really Clumsy Parts
Paul M4 April 2003
"Love and a Bullet" adds nothing really new to the hitman genre but its a fun movie all the same. There are some really funny parts such as how Pretty Nate's crew gets down...but as mentioned before the last twenty minutes are horrible. Like a video game where you have to beat a boss w/ some special capability.

Also the whole, "I'm a professional" statements got old quick. Treach like Ice Cube can handle acting and his charisma carries over from music to screen.

6/10
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Interesting (Contains Spoilers)
Ben "The Hound" Davolls14 February 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Love and a Bullet seems to be the template for the "Hitman" games on the PC, but hastily made. There were rag-tage elements of lots of different movies in this one, and the main character "Bishop" was probably one of the most irritating gantas's I have ever seen on the screen **Spoiler - Notice how satisfying it would be to bust a cap in his ass, when he is trying to get together with the government Spook)

MEGA SPOILER MEGA SPOILER MEGA SPOILER MEGA SPOILER MEGA SPOILER MEGA SPOILER

The last bit of the movie was pretty unreal. Like the last review I had just sat down with something you cant buy in the shops, and it all made bad sense but sense all the same until the end, where it came together like bad manga. The kung-fu guy was high kicking, the gun guy wanted a duel, and the crazy guy was crazy.

This film is an ok rental, but I would hate to get it as a Christmas present !!
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Confused?
fnordknt21 January 2004
Love and a Bullet is a confused movie. At times it seems like a comedy with the use of the MF word more times in a sentence than any other word. But other times with its blood and violence it want to be a film trying to shock. All the while filled with philosophy that doesn't make sense to anyone and they note it. As love story starts to form, you feel small moments. You feel for Bishop on thanksgiving but then it becomes a comedy of errors again. This movie could have been better if it decided what it was before it decided who should die.
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8/10
funny and very cool
roddick-14 June 2005
This movie was much better than I expected!

I thought the story was very smart and original. Some good twists and turns.

The action scenes were exciting, original and very, very cool. A bit more gory than I expected.

The acting was pretty good. Especially since Treach is a rapper and sometimes there not very good.

It was a nice blend of comedy and action. The jokes were very good. It's no wonder it was written and directed by Ben Ramsey, who did The Big Hit.

Does anyone else think Treach sounds like Ice T, especially when narrating.

Overall I thought it was a funny, exciting, original and very, very cool movie.
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7/10
comic noir
winner5525 November 2007
Kantz and Ramsey also put together "The Big Hit", which I disliked so much, I demanded my money back from the video store. But I admit that there is something appealing about this one.

The film is an attempt to do comic noir, and is definitely of a flavor similar to that of Tarantino's films and of the British neo-noir.

The problem such films have is one of bad taste - it's difficult to know when killing and hurting people can be made amusing, and when it just hurts and laughing at it is stepping close to something profoundly unhealthy.

However, "Love and a Bullet" only crosses that line a couple of times; and I think much of the appeal of the film comes out of the performance of Treach, who is right on the money throughout. Some of the dialog is over much, and more could have been done with less - although I admit that for a film put together for half-a-million in 2002, this really looks well-made. But I really mean less in the story and in the dialog, which goes over the top once too often to suit me.

But on the whole, an entertaining Post-Modern crime comedy of the 'outre' variety.
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8/10
Black Assassins, White Crime Boss, High Body Count
rockoforza23 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rapper Treach (lead singer for Naughty by Nature) plays Malik Bishop, a stone cold hit man in this violent action movie. Treach gives us a running narrative on his profession that is sometimes comical, sometimes profane, but always badass. Handsome, with a bald head and smooth, ripped physique, covered in gang tattoos, Treach definitely looks the part. Joining him is an almost all-black caste of enforcers, thugs and hit men.

Charles Guardino plays Damien, a white mob boss that specializes in recruiting young black street muscle and turning them into trained assassins. We see Treach starting out with a amateur crew and murdering other brothers with abandon. He coldly slays a black pimp for being late to meeting. In another early scene he shows he doesn't need a gun to get the job done by silently strangling a sleeping thug with a white handkerchief. Impressed by his body count, Damien soon offers him a job with his organization.

Treach enters a world where he becomes one of six highly trained black killers. Along with them being impressive physical specimens, they each have their own trademark kill techniques. Putting that black muscle on display, we see them shirtless, or in martial arts gear, working out, lifting weights and practicing their lethal artistry. We watch as training leaves them exhausted, buff bodies gleaming with sweat, ready to do the boss's bidding. But nobody is under any illusions about the power structure. Damien surrounds himself with bodyguards -- a cadre of white bodybuilders -- leaving no doubt about how far he trusts his black employees. As the six assassins admit among themselves after completing hits ordered by Damien, the world belongs to white men -- they are just there to "take out the trash."

We see some exciting hits, including one where Treach and Buddy, his best friend on the hit squad, invade a house where a federal witness is being guarded by marshals. The black killers expertly eliminate each of the six white lawmen before taking out the witness. Back at headquarters, Buddy demands more money for his work on hits like these and a furious Damien marks him for death, sending some of his white bodyguards to do the deed. In some furious action, involving snapped necks, close quarter martial arts and expert gunplay, Buddy easily offs them one by one. Though we don't see who fires the fatal shot, Buddy is finally slain, with the suspicion that one of the six black killers took the contract to ice a "brother."

That lesson isn't lost on Treach and he begins to lay plans to leave the organization -- especially after falling in love with the beautiful black hit woman Hylene. In a series of graphic sex scenes (including a full frontal view of Treach's impressive manhood) the romance gets red hot and it's only a matter of time before Damien lets Treach know that love isn't healthy in his line of work. Hylene disappears and, at the same time, Damien orders Treach to snuff Cynda (Damien's black girlfriend whom he suspects of cheating) installing Treach in a sniper's nest across the street from her apartment. Even while he's aiming the rifle at her head, we can see Treach is developing feelings for her as he watches Damien slap her around. In a sick mind game with Treach, Damien won't give the final order to kill her, preferring to taunt Treach by letting him watch while he abuses her -- sometimes even winking at him from the window. Treach slowly loses it -- day after day, often stripped to just his boxers, his muscular black torso slick with sweat -- all the time with his crosshairs on Cynda's lovely face and Damien's leering smirk right there.

Having enough of his twisted game Damien calls off the hit, but Treach has other plans. Knowing that Cynda's life will never improve, he fires the fatal bullet to free her forever. Damien goes insane and orders his men to take out Treach and the final battle is on. First his remaining white musclemen are dispatched but they are no match for Treach's black fury. Their deaths only infuriate Damien all the more and he turns to Treach's former "brothers" to carry out the hit. In an orgy of black-on-black violence, Treach faces the best in the business --- and ices them, one by one. With guns blazing, kicks and fists flying and some incredible acrobatic fighting moves, each killer meets his end. In one particularly brutal fight, Treach drives an iron spike clean through the shaved head of one of his former buddies. Leaving a pile of black corpses, Treach goes looking for the white man responsible for it all and, in a hail of bullets, takes Damien's life.

There is a surprise waiting for Treach at the end of this movie and, badass killer that he is, you don't begrudge him a little happiness. Treach makes this movie -- all black muscle and attitude -- and elevates it beyond just another gangsta outing. The fights are awesome, the intrigue is cool, the sex is hot and the hits are cleverly staged -- like Wesley Snipes once famously said in another action movie, "always bet on black."
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7/10
"Love" hurts, but so does a "Bullet"
dee.reid20 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Ben Ramsey and Kantz co-directed "Love and a Bullet," a stylish romantic action film with an urban twist, in 2002. The film's most essential component is Malik Bishop (Treach, lead rapper for rap group Naughty by Nature), a young professional hit-man in Los Angeles who engages in a would-be forbidden romance with his employer's main squeeze. The drama in the plot comes from the fact that Bishop's latest assignment forces him to question his profession for the first time and reflect on the violent path that his life has taken him. Anyone looking for a deep rumination or moral dilemmas on the life of a hit-man better look elsewhere, say "The Professional" (1994). But Treach makes an interesting and charismatic lead character because he lets us get to know him, like him, and sympathize with the choices he's made and how he's learning to live with the consequences of those decisions. And plus he's a just an all-around bad-ass who must ultimately learn to fend for himself in the film's blood-soaked, action-packed climax. The movie is also pretty funny, too, albeit in a darkly comic fashion. One sequence that will have you laughing out loud is when Bishop and his mentor Buddy (Sam Scarber) lay siege to a house where a federal witness is being held up and they not only succeed in slaying the witness, but also the six federal agents protecting him. All the while, Buddy is complaining about why the job is so messed up because they didn't have time to plan it properly. Other darkly humorous instances abound, but that is by far the funniest in the whole movie. Not a perfect film by any standard, but it does make for a quick 87-minute trip with your brain locked squarely in the "off" position.

7/10
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3/10
Not worth the film it has been printed on.
R-heugden7 January 2003
What a massive desception this flick is, A movie based around a plot as thick as ice is on a hot-Summer night is usually something you don't want to step on, normally there would be some leverage before the layer breaks but beware step on this and you won't need a peddle you'll be swimming.
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10/10
Low Expectations...Greatly exceeded
jmbs9816 October 2003
Surprisingly well acted, tongue-in-cheek comedy with a flawless performance by Treach. This is not going to be the best movie you have ever seen but if you are looking for something different and enjoyable to occupy 90 minutes of your time, I doubt you will be disappointed. Give it a shot if you've got some time to kill and are looking for some good laughs...just be sure to pay close attention or you might miss the subtle nuances--and have an open mind. The final showdown is unreal...best of luck to Treach in his ensuing acting career.
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9/10
A fun film
MagicStarfire3 June 2006
I greatly enjoyed this film. It was highly entertaining, and easy to follow. It got me involved immediately with the characters and what was happening with them.

It was kind of a crime, action, thriller with a bit of comedy and romance thrown in - all of which kept it lively. It is very well paced, and moves along at a good rhythm.

It you like well built black men, you can definitely feast your eyes in this film. I don't remember when I have seen such a fine variety of good looking black actors. They all looked as if they worked out at the gym, also well-groomed, and wearing some really nice threads.

The film revolves around a young black man named Malik Bishop, played quite well by Anthony "Treach" Criss. I'm not familiar with him, but understand he is a rapper, and I think this may be his first acting role.

Malik has grown up under some rough circumstances and he is now a hit-man who works for an older white man named Damien Wiles (Charles Guardino), who has illusions that he is some kind of white Martin Luther King, when in reality he's a low life scumbag.

Damien has a young black woman who is his girlfriend, but he is concerned she is cheating on him and wants Malik to take her out.

The summary here at the website, regarding this film led me to believe that the hit-man was in love with Cynda, the kingpin's girlfriend, but Malik has his own girlfriend, Hylene. However, Cynda comes to influence Malik in making a major decision in his life.

Hylene, played by Shireen Crutchfield, is very pretty. She is a hit-woman, so she and Malik actually have a lot in common.

There's lots of shooting, but no gore, and in the version I saw on BET, there was no rough language at all either.

The dialog is breezy and fun, and the shoot-outs and action scenes are frequently done with tongue in cheek, for example Malik is looking straight ahead, but holding out his arm with the gun and shooting--and still hits the guy. So this film is also kind of a parody of the guns and hit men kind of films that are out there.

9 Stars
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I took for what it was supposed to be
DunnDeeDaGreat6 February 2003
Love and a Bullet is a film that I watched and really don't know how to express my feelings towards it. By the cover you would think the film would be full of action it's not. But the film does have some decent acting and a likeable lead performance in Treach. If you just wanna waste about 90 min then check this out.
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A very strange brew, but a very fun one too!
jamesbourke508 January 2003
Picture this if you will, just before the dawning of the new year, here's me and a bottle of the finest Jack Daniels, no Ice! Just straight up, and there i sit, popped in the dvd release of "Love And A Bullet".

I Had no idea who Treach was, or to be honest still is, aside from hearing that he'd turned up in "Jason's Lyric" and the cover reminded me somewhat of the Keenan Ivory Wayans Flick, "A Low Down Dirty Shame", But these rather shallow points aside, there i sat, a glass of jack in one hand and the dvd remote control in the other.

As the movie gathered a pace, i'll be honest, the whole thing resembled a mish mash of everything, no bad thing, to anyone who ever saw the Bokeem Woodbine movie, "BlackMale" Released over here in Brittain as "BlackMail" a movie like the one in question, that is just so overloaded with everything, you just have to see it to believe it.

Treach's character, Malik Bishop has risen through the ranks of hoodlum hitman to professional Hitman, who suffers a crises of conscience, which is something that we are let in on, as we fade in at the beginning, then we flash back to where it all began.

Where do we go from there? I think at that point the Jack Daniels was really kicking in, because what unfolded, was so wild and wacky, it all kinda made sense. This was a movie consisting of comedic moments, Kung Fu, some serious gun play and a very strange take on Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream speech, as spoken by Malik's white Boss.

A really good soundtrack throughout, and a very, very good first time out performance by Sam Scarber as the Zen/Svengali Hitman, Buddy entrusted with the task of showing Bishop the finer points to being a hitman, more importantly, how to make a really good capuccino!

In the morning, after the jack had slightly worn off, i watched the DVD again, however with the director's commentary, and you know what, the movie was even better. What can i say, yes the alcohol made things easier, but even with or without, this was a very easy movie to watch, even more so second time around.
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8/10
Cool flick by a master screenwriter
dima-128 April 2003
I must admit that THE BIG HIT is one of the cooler action comedies in the history of cinema and it definitely belongs among the best movies made in the last five years. It was produced by John Woo and Wesley Snipes and these guys never miss.

I mean, John Woo per se cannot guarantee anything these days. He will need time to recover from MI-2 and WINDTALKERS done back-to-back, but in 1998, it was his heyday. He was fresh from making his true Hollywood masterpiece FACE/OFF and producing a very fine HK pastiche REPLACEMENT KILLERS by certain Antoine Fuqua.

On the other hand, Snipes truly belongs to the group of my very favourite actors. I love his roles, especially all the genre stuff he does. By the time THE BIG HIT was released he was fresh from the work on the first BLADE which proved to be pivotal for the genre.

Anyhow, THE BIG HIT rocked big time and I`m glad it even made some cash.

Time went by. Director Kirk Wong did some TV work, got attached to SIX, Elie Samaha actioner with Michael Jai White that never got made, then got attached to IRON FIST and promptly fired, and in the end he directed Wesley`s biker project.

Kirk failed to make anything fly but he kept himself inside the game.

Screenwriter Ben Ramsey, on the other hand went AWOL for four years. The guy was gone. I don`t know whether he did some uncredited work or not. I guess not because some other films would rule. Now he`s back with LOVE AND A BULLET, a film that allegedly played some theatrical venues but ended up on video soon enough.

This movie is very, very cool. It is smart and it has this balls-to-the-wall attitude that graced THE BIG HIT. This low budget film was made for half a million bucks and it was cut by TriStar, so it doesn`t deliver lots of action. Even though this hitman comedy provides enough comic gore and violence to look dignified.

The story never gets half-cocked and it feels like it doesn`t actually belong to the tired hitman comedy subgenre.

Anthony "Treach" Criss of Naughty By Nature fame stars as Malik Bishop, a tough-as-nails gangsta kid turned elite hit man. While staking out his next assignment - the innocent girlfriend of his notorious boss - Malik reflects on the dark path he's chosen but cannot escape. Torn between his sense of duty and his newfound sense of humanity, he finds that the only way out is a perilous showdown with men who are every bit as cold-blooded as he is.

But this whole thing is done with witty ironic edge that made quiet scenes of THE BIG HIT so cool. This movie is inhabited exclusively by hitmen with a hard-on for Yaphet Kotto. This is the movie co-directed and written by a man who wrote the brilliant `dad looks like MIAMI VICE villain` gag in THE BIG HIT.

Ben Ramsey`s attitude is the sole reason why this movie kicks so much ass. Rappers turned actors, low budget and anonymous direction by Kantz (from the McG, Traktor and Kaos camp) are being disinfected by his sheer attitude and ability to tune the style and create a unique cinematic universe where all these elements actually work.

After seeing this movie which bravely and unasahamedly threads THE BIG HIT territory and manages to be entertaining, I cannot stop but wonder how come Ben Ramsey doesn`t write big Hollywood actioners these days if he proved to be talented. He is in the Skip Woods position now. He has one big budget screenwriting credit and an indie direction under his belt. But still, Woods first made the indie and then wrote the major while Ramsey did the same thing in reverse order.
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Uhhh...
pingu-126 January 2003
The movie has a love story with violent action sequences in the film which made me to enjoy this film. The way the film is made because of the aggression mixed in with charisma and character. It seems to me this movie is Memento meets Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I find this movie alright but if you want to see this film, it's totally up to you.
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9/10
Treach Deserves an Award!!!
rome200227 November 2002
Once I heard the news that Treach was going to be cast in his first starring role, I was thrilled. He has been featured in other roles in films like "Juice", "Who's the Man?" and "The Meteor Man" (all the which are small roles) but was given the chance to prove himself in the classic film "Jason's Lyric". Other roles that followed became important and supporting like his guest starring appearances in "New York Undercover" and "Soul Food". I bought this movie this week and I have enjoyed it. Treach is definitely a good actor who derserves the phrase "Rapper-turned-Actor" that many musical artists can't quite imitate. He chooses roles that are brilliant and exciting. This movie reminds me of "The Big Hit" (which is also created by the same people of this film). Treach stars as a contract killer who has been assigned to assassinate the girlfriend because he assumes she is being unfaithful. The action is intense and is mixed with comedic humor. If you haven't purchased this movie yet, then you are missing out on a good movie.
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7/10
Nice One!
gillyberlin10 February 2003
Nice Action with nice little jokes! I'll recommend this film to my friends.

It's nice to see how a killer can show feelings and control them and can't control them. Also it's not a typical gangster movie. Watch it!
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Not bad but......
This movie was quite unique with the way it tried to show the on and off conscience of a "cold blooded killer." They should've made the movie a bit more longer with a more complicated storyline and also, the lead actor should've been Michael Jai White and NOT the rapper from Naughty by Nature! Other then that, good fight sequences, adequate storyline and nice humorous moments.
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