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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't even know this movie existed until I got an email about a
private screening. I went just because I didn't have anything to do and
didn't expect much. Anything with Sylvester Stallone is guaranteed to
be your run of the mill, cheesy, action flick with guns, explosions and
cheesy one liners. This is exactly what this movie was but this time I
enjoyed it from start to finish.
First, I'd like to say that Stallone's on screen chemistry with Sung Kang is awesome. The dialogue between is always laugh out loud. I don't think I've a movie where Stallone's sarcastic sense of humor just made me let out a loud yelp of laughter but this movie did. Kudos to the writer for writing all those comedic one liners, every scene is guaranteed to make you giggle. Sung Kang was also enjoyable in his character of a determined, yet rookie cop from out of state trying to solve a murder case. Reminded me of Jackie Chan in Rush Hour, minus the strong accent. Also, Jason Momoa (besides being sexy) did very well as the villain of the film. Towards the beginning he was a little one note but as the the film progresses he starts to show off more and more. The twist at the end definitely allowed him to get more shine and let the world know he can do more than just be Conan The Barbarian.
The action in the movie was really enjoyable as well. There were times in the theater where all the watchers would cheer or let out a "Damn" or "Wow" because you literally could feel every punch, kick, slam, shot and everything else. The ending fight scene was my fave. Some of the cinematography and shots seemed a little off being that the budget for this film was slightly high. But overall, it's an enjoyable film. No complex script, no Oscar worthy acting, just a simple yet solid plot, good action, cheesy and funny one liners, believable characters and not too long.
I'd recommend this movie for all the true action lovers that don't always need a complex, layered storyline. Just a fun, action flick to watch on a Friday night with your buddies or maybe even date, if you're girlfriend is into that type of stuff!
In case you can't discern from the title, this is a *very* violent
film, so don't be a putz and take your five or six year old kid, like a
couple of people did at the Independence, Missouri AMC screening
tonight. There are more triple-taps to the head than any film in recent
memory, to the point that it becomes rather over the top by the time
the film ends All that said, Walter Hill has woven yet another
well-paced, engrossing buddy film actioner with a pretty good left hand
twist. Stallone plays a weary New Orleans hit-man very convincingly,
and with a very wry sense of humor. Were he any more droll, he would
have to become a British citizen.
"Bullet" has everything an Action fan loves...really nasty bad guys, impossibly punishing fights, explosions, hot women, and main characters you can actually care something about. The plot isn't suspenseful, but it isn't meant to be, as our heroes go on what for one is a vendetta, and for the other a bumbling police investigation. Indeed, Sung Kang's Washington DC detective seems at times to have the insight of a rock, but Kang is pretty and plays well alongside the grizzled Stallone.
All and all, if you enjoy this sort of film, well...you'll enjoy "Bullet to the Head".
Now i'll admit I'm an action junkie and almost all the movies I review
are in this genre. So with that in mind I'm an obvious fan of Stallone
and Walter Hill. If you are also you'll like this as he one lines,
punches, shoots, explodes and stabs his way through this film. Now the
plot is very cliché and predictable which is why I would give it a 6.
However I do enjoy the retro,cheesy 80's feel this movie has.Overall, the film is average but watchable. Thats because of the Stallone/Hill combination and the action throughout.Comparing it to another similar retro action film from an ageing action star in early 2013 (The Last Stand),I felt that the last stand was more fun and enjoyable. But I'd still recommend both films if your a fan of the genre and the actors.
'BULLET TO THE HEAD': Four Stars (Out of Five)
Sylvester Stallone in a classic 80s style revenge action film directed by none other than Walter Hill (who helmed such popular 70s through 90s action flicks as 'THE WARRIORS', 'THE LONG RIDERS', '48 HOURS', 'RED HEAT', 'EXTREME PREJUDICE', 'TRESSPASS' and 'LAST MAN STANDING'). The film is based on a graphic novel (of the same name, when translated to English) by Alexis Nolent and illustrated by Colin Wilson. It was scripted by Alessandro Camon and puts Stallone in a buddy tale as a hit-man teamed with a cop out to revenge the killing of his partner. It also pits Stallone in a classic axe fight with Jason Momoa (of 'STARGATE: ATLANTIS', 'BAYWATCH' and 'GAME OF THRONES' fame. He also played Conan in the recent 'CONAN THE BARBARIAN' reboot). The film also co-stars Sung Kang (most well known from 'THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS' franchise), Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. It's a great throwback to 80s action flicks and Stallone and Hill fans should be thrilled with it.
Stallone plays James Bonomo, a hit-man in New Orleans who takes an assignment to kill a dirty cop, named Hank Greely (Holt McCallany), with his partner, Louis Blanchard (Jon Seda), but leaves a witness alive, a prostitute the cop was sleeping with named Lola (Weronika Rosati). Bonomo and Blanchard are later attacked at a bar by another hired killer named Keegan (Momoa). Keegan kills Blanchard but fails to defeat Bonomo in a bathroom brawl. Bonomo later learns that Keegan is working for a man named Robert Morel (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who wants a file Greely had. Bonomo of course wants revenge for the death of his partner. A cop named Taylor Kwan (Kang) comes to town to investigate the death of his ex-partner, Greely, and pieces it together that Bonomo was involved. The two reluctantly team up to stop Morel and Keegan. The beautiful Sarah Shahi also co-stars as Bonomo's daughter, who helps him out when Kwan is in need of medical attention (because she's a tattoo artist).
The film, for me, had exactly the same feel as the old neo-noir revenge flicks from two to four decades ago (the same ones that Stallone used to star in or Hill used to direct). While watching it it almost feels like you've been thrown back in time to the 80s or early 90s! It's just great nostalgic fun and Stallone is perfect in it. Kang makes a great sidekick and Momoa is an awesome bad guy. It's of course perfectly directed by Hill as well (who hasn't changed at all in style in the last thirty-some years). The script isn't very deep and the lines are sometimes very cheesy but that's the way it's supposed to be. I enjoyed it more than 'EXPENDABLES' co-stars, of Stallone's, latest action vehicles (Schwarzenegger's 'THE LAST STAND' and Statham's 'PARKER'), which came out in theaters weeks apart from each other. They all underperformed greatly at the box office (especially this one) but people are idiots and have poor taste in movies (also all three will kill on video). It's a great B action film, the kind that Stallone and Hill are legendary for!
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This movie plays out exactly like a video game, complete with a
Blackberry that feeds objectives and information. The bad guys give up
info way too easy. Sung Gang is wooden and completely cliché for the
good cop role.
That said, if you can live with the video game flow, its a decent action flick with plenty of violence that warrants the title of the film. Stallone is, well he's Stallone, nothing surprising there. Jason Momoa is decent as the killer. To be honest, he's actually a better actor than the script he is given. You don't (or shouldn't) watch these movies for great acting anyway. It delivers on the action mostly and violence totally. They even threw in a couple nude scenes with no point to the story line just to give it that earlier 80's action movie feel before they all started going PG and PG-13.
I give it a 6 because it was only slightly worse than I expected. Classic action movie that seemed like it might have been scripted for a game before it was scripted for movie.
All the ads for "Bullet to the Head" bear the name and image of
Sylvester Stallone, an actor who is perfectly at home in this sort of
picture: a violent shoot-'em-up with a rogue gun-for-hire working with
and against a straight-shooting cop. But, as far as I am concerned,
there should be a second name plastered right alongside Mr. Stallone's.
The extra credit is not, ironically enough, for the Korean actor Sung
Kang, even though he is very good, but instead the film's director. I
walked into "Bullet to the Head" with an open mind, hoping that Mr.
Stallone could keep up the good track record he's had in the last
couple of years (the last "Rambo" and both of the "Expendables"
movies), but when I saw the words 'directed by Walter Hill' in the
opening credits, I knew I was in for a good time.
It's a little hard to believe that this is the first time these two men have worked alongside one another, since they've both made their names doing the same general sorts of movies, and both have been kicking around Hollywood for roughly the same length of time. Better late than never, for even though "Bullet to the Head" is a little rougher than it might be, thanks to Mr. Stallone's charisma and Mr. Hill's sure hand for coordinating action, this movie does pack a walloping punch.
No time is wasted; the movie gets rolling within the first ten minutes. From the start of things, we know who our protagonist is, we know the central bad guy is, and we know there will be plenty of grisly action sequences. Mr. Stallone and Mr. Kang do have a lot of deliberately amusing moments together, most of the laughs collected whenever they are driving from one seedy New Orleans location to another, bickering about ethics, the justice system, the difference between Japanese and Koreans, and Mr. Stallone's relationship to a sassy tattoo artist played by Sarah Shahi. The villains in the picture are also delightfully self-indulgent: the 'brain' behind the whole operation, which involves the balance of power between organized crime and the justice system, is a crippled man whose signature line is: Never trust a man who doesn't care about money. The subject man is the expected big muscle-man with a smirk, Jason Momoa: a walking mountain of a man who walks in and shoots up an entire bar for little reason other than pleasure.
But what really makes the movie is what Walter Hill has always been a virtuoso at: excellent fight scenes. Mr. Hill sets up his camera at many creative angles. My personal favorite being an overhead shot of Mr. Stallone and Mr. Momoa as they duke it out in a restroom, with one of them being slammed bodily through the stall door and knocking the whole thing down. The camera is also frequently set with wider shots, so we can see more than just a split-second now and then of a fist hitting what we perceive to be somebody's stomach. There is also a great shot where Mr. Kang punches somebody in the mouth, and the man's spittle is caught in an overhead light and shows up as an array of brilliant white specks. Every sort of weapon from handguns to out-dated firefighter axes is used at some point, and, just as the title hints, there are plenty of moments where somebody catches a muzzle blast clean through the forehead. It's exactly the sort of suspension of disbelief that a movie like this needs: a character will waste three or four shots hitting their target in the chest and stomach when, as they demonstrate subsequently, they planned all along to put a fatal round between the eyes.
There's also lots of fun imagery: such as an underwater shot where Mr. Stallone stares down at the submerged body of a man he just killed, and drops the murder weapon right down on top of us. Or a delightfully funny moment where Jason Momoa's head pops out of a scuzzy pond, like something from a 1950s science-fiction flick.
"Bullet to the Head" was a nice surprise: an out of the blue teaming up of two action-movie veterans. Admittedly, the story needs some refining and there are a couple of moments where a key shot seems to be missing (during a climax, a man falls from a rafter and just as he hits the ground, we cut to another scene. A reaction shot would have evened things out and given the scene a more completed feel). But this is a nice kick-start to the new year; of the three movies I've seen in 2013 thus farand all have been action-orientatedthis is the one I would encourage people to see more than once. I have a hankering to see it again, myself, as a matter of fact.
With this movie Stallone is back and in surprisingly good shape. That
is a good thing since the enjoyment of this movie is pretty much
Stallone and not much else. If you are not a Stallone fan you are most
likely not going to enjoy this movie.
I cannot help making a comparison to Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback movie The Last Stand. These films are quite different in approach. In The Last Stand, Schwarzenegger was playing his age and not trying to be all gung ho "I'm back" and still feel young. The script however was quite okay. I had my reservations about certain parts but at least someone had put some effort into it.
This movie, well Stallone is indeed back and he is truly kicking ass. To my surprise he actually manages to pull it off. I loved every minute of Stallone being on screen. However, for this movie, someone must have misplaced the real script and quickly thrown something together in order to get 90 minutes of screen time for Stallone. The story, well let us just say that I am not impressed. It is pretty much just there in the background to tie together the various action scenes. Not much thought seems to have gone into it. Especially the ending is quite disappointing and seems very rushed.
Some people have complained about the violence. Well, what did you guys expect? It is a Stallone comeback movie. If you are going to be upset about violence then do not watch Stallone movies. Personally I enjoyed the action sequences with Stallone as well as the ones wit he bad guy's hired mercenary. Actually I quite liked this hired mercenary. I made for a suitably impressive adversary. The real bad guys behind him meh. The black guy was okay(ish) though, at least until the end when it all went a bit silly.
The Korean cop, Taylor Kwon, was mostly just silly and dumb. He constantly screwed up and his silly whispering sessions over the phone where he was unknowingly, since he was so bloody stupid, telling the bad guys everything made me squirm in my chair.
The end? Well that was indeed a bit of a disappointment as I said. Kind of "okay let's quickly get everyone out of the way, as in dead, so that we can get on with the final fight between Stallone and the mercenary". I mean, the bad guy mastermind suddenly turns into a total idiot? Could they not have found some more intelligent way to finish him off? The final axe-fight was somewhat cool though.
Bottom line, I enjoyed the movie quite a lot but that was pretty much only because of Stallone and action sequences. I was quite surprised at how well Stallone managed to make a comeback as an action hero. It is really a shame that quite a few other things where just sloppily done or botched up since this could have been a really great movie. Now it is just good and if you are not a Stallone person then it probably just weighs in as okay or even mediocre.
2013 has already brought back two of the coolest, if not the coolest
action heroes: Schwarzenegger and now Stallone. The funny thing about
it all is that Stallone already had his returning movie last year with
the Expendables 2 as it mainly focused around him. Anyways, the trailer
to the movie, as many may have said, looked absolutely horrible and I
didn't really have any intention of seeing this, despite Stallone being
my second favorite action star. Now, I'm kinda glad I saw it The film
is based around Stallone's character James who is on a rampage to
avenge the death of his fellow partner who was killed. Now the story
line has been done to death but there is an alliance formed which was
kinda cool. The most important thing about this movie is that it isn't
trying to take the story far too seriously but keeps it important and
is actually very good if you look at it.
The acting in the movie can be both good and crap but we really don't care much about the acting. Its about the action and having fun and the film knows itself. It actually brings us back to the 80's Stallone we used to love and is really cool! Sure there is plenty of bad dialogue, but no one really cares about that neither with any of the other flaws all for a legit reason; because the film knows what it is.
There is plenty of digital blood which is now commonly used in all action movies and can sometimes get a tad frustrating but is not a big issue.
Overall, I can say that this movie is made for Stallone fans! Worth a watch!
Sly is part of a hit-man team. Their latest job is to kill some guy
who's at a hotel with a prostitute. They kill the guy and
uncharacteristically let the girl live. Later at a bar his partner is
killed and Sly barely survives.
An Asian detective, Kwon, is investigating the dead guy and travels to New Orleans. Magically Kwon, upon seeing the corpse of Sly's partner in the morgue next to the other guy's corpse has an inkling the two deaths are related. He connects the dots and meets Sly. When Sly saves his life they reluctantly partner up. Kwon likes doing things by the book. Sly being the seasoned criminal does things differently, that is, brutally but effectively.
They slowly start following the trail of one bad guy after another. There's the guy who hired Sly's team. The guy behind him, some big shot who organizes an extravagant party and is kidnapped by Sly and Kwon. Then there's the big bad businessman who has real estate plans for New Orleans and has politicians and cops on his payroll. He also has special ops guys as his security staff. One of them is Momoa (the only actor with weirder eyebrows than Sly), who killed Sly's partner and now has kidnapped Sly's daughter, played by the lovely Sarah Shahi.
Bullet to the head is an exhilarating old-fashioned action movie. It has a great setting- New Orleans, great music, a good story and an outstanding cast. It wonderfully violent with plenty of bullets to the head, fist fights, explosions, has some nudity and characters to care about. This is the kind of movie The Expendables should be. They need to hire Walter Hill to direct Expendables 3. This guy knows how to direct an action movie. Bullet to the Head is a fun and intense action movie the likes we haven't seen in a while.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you want to see a 90 minute advertisement for the Blackberry phone,
then this film is right up your street. The product placement is so
obvious and in your face, that it feels like Kwon's phone is a third
main character. It should probably get an Oscar for its performance.
Jimi and Kwon need to find a suspect: Kwon googles on his BB. They need
some information about another suspect: Kwon phones the office and has
it all sent to his BB. Is that a bad guy doing something that will
prove that Kwon was right all along? Film it on the BB. Jimi doesn't
believe Kwon that his phone is the best thing since sliced bread:
download everything there is to know about Jimi and show him. It just
really grated on me.
Blackberry's starring role aside, the film still sucked. The plot was the same old rehashed story of the assassin being double crossed and seeking revenge. About 10 or 20 minutes in, just in case you can't figure out what is going on, Christian Slater gives a monologue that explains exactly why the bad guys are bad, what their evil plan is, and gives the James-Bond-villain's-sidekick-esque bad guy his orders. So if you were confused before, there is no need now.
There is so much bad in this film that I am just going to skip to the end. Kwon hooking up with Lisa was quite obvious from the start. The big show-down too. Khal Drogo's desire to end it all through one-on-one combat with fire axes was stupid, and obviously going to result in his own death (not forgetting that as soon as you saw Jimi take the knife off of Jon Seda in the beginning, you knew that would be the weapon that would perform the finishing blow to Khal Drogo). Jimi and Kwon still not being friends at the end was also plain to see.
The only things that saved this film from having me fall asleep were: not wanting to miss Sarah Shahi, and some interesting cinematography in some points. The black and white opening scene was kind of cool.
All in all, I feel my rating is a bit generous. But I gave 1 star because I can't go lower, 1 star for Sarah Shahi (whom I love), and one star for a few moments of vaguely interesting cinematography.
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