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|Index||110 reviews in total|
These days there are very few surprises left to be had by old-school
fans of action from the 80's and beyond. We've all seen the best action
stars of the last thirty years directed by the best action filmmakers
of all time and yet sometimes you're still caught unaware.
It's true; for those that don't understand that films like The Expendables are meant to be simple, funny and over the top violent action for none other but the best action icons Hollywood has to offer, my generation were fans of those action stars when we were kids and there haven't been action stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger ever since. There never will be! And say what you like... Because HA! Your action heroes are Vin Diesel and Keanu Reeves at best.
Bullet to the Head is one such surprise because if anyone remembers one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best films, Red Heat, they'll probably know that it was directed by one of the best action thriller writers, producers and directors of all time - Walter Hill (The Getaway, The Warriors, Extreme Prejudice, Johnny Handsome, Deadwood).
Hill returns to the helm to direct Stallone for the first time in what should have been a highly anticipated feature, and yet it turned out to be pretty low key and I think Hill kept it that way because for him, an action film is no big deal, right? Stallone plays New Orleans hit-man Jimmy 'Bobo', a man who escapes narrowly with his life after a top new mob boss sees fit to have him terminated to tie up loose ends.
Enter Washington Detective Taylor Kwon, who while on a case investigating the death of a disgraced former partner, discovers that half the police force is corrupted by the same mob boss and that he must work with Jimmy to bring the criminal underworld to its knees.
The movie plays out like a chapter from the Grand Theft Auto games and doesn't beat around the bush in terms of pace when it comes to story and the relationships between characters. Hill bases Bullet on a graphic novel and yet clearly enjoys working with the grim humour, slick style and hard-hitting action.
Stallone is straight-forward nasty as hit-man Jimmy 'Bobo' and goddamn is he ugly, but it works in favour of the mood and the setting. New Orleans is a famous old town but can be one hell of a rotten place.
More surprisingly to me is the casting of charismatic and yet hulking Jason Momoa, who is currently more well known as Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones than he was for the Conan reboot. Seeing people literally being manhandled by Momoa when he gets angry is just absurdly entertaining and his inevitable face-off against Stallone is brutal and actually quite terrifying at times.
Bad language, guns, nice cars, southern Cajun/country rock music reminiscent of Ry Cooder's old Walter Hill soundtracks, hard hitting violence and strained friendships all round; Bullet to the Head is a boys film, but more an old-schoolboy's film.
Not surprisingly, Bullet doesn't quite manage to be a film you can enjoy as a group as it does excel at being a film you can totally enjoy on your own. Still, this really was enjoyable and Stallone and Hill really did compliment each others' styles!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
BULLET TO THE HEAD is Sylvester Stallone in Gritty Tragic Mode, an
old-school hit-man named Jimmy Bonomo, whose partner is killed by a
mercenary after what should have been a regulation whacking. On the
other side of the tracks, a cop's partner is killed by the same merc in
what should also have been a regulation whacking (cops call it an
In a world where coincidence is spelled l-a-z-y s-c-r-e-e-n-w-r-i-t-i-n-g, Bonomo teams with the Korean cop, Taylor (Sung Kang), to track down the killer of both their bros. It's an uneasy partnership, with Taylor the cop "allowing" Jimmy the hit-man to work his outlaw magic to progress their manhunt, yet constantly warning Jimmy that when their hunt is over, he would come for Jimmy for breaking the law. How's that for two-faced cop?
BULLET claws for a foothold amongst '80's mismatched buddy pics. And slips off, banging its head on lack of chemistry. The closest action movie comparison is 48 HRS where a cop was forced to team with an outlaw, but both Nolte and Murphy were powerful screen presences, whereas Kang's uninspired prissy cop cannot hold a candle to Stallone oozing his veteran Stallion charisma.
Directed by Walter Hill (who directed both 48 HRS films), from a graphic novel by Alexis Nolent and Colin Wilson, BULLET is a stock action flick, with Stallone wading into as many fight scenes as possible. His first one is at a darkened swimming pool where he strips down to just a towel around his waist for no good reason, other than to show off his sweet trapezius-deltoid ink. His usual method of dispatch is - say it with me - a Bullet To The Head.
Taylor the cop wants to keep each thug alive after they've divulged info on how to get to the next thug in the chain leading to their mercenary, but Jimmy is always giving the thugs - lemme hear you, Cleveland! - a Bullet To The Head.
There's a fish-out-of-water undercurrent, as Taylor continues an ongoing intercourse with his smart-phone for esoteric info, while Jimmy relies on - you guessed it - a Bullet To The Head. Besides the usual dinosaur jokes hurled at Jimmy (for not comprehending Google, etc.) Taylor wisecracks a classic, regarding his smart-phone, "You should upgrade from carrier pigeons, or whatever Early Man uses." Strangely, there is no payoff on the smart-phone; a couple of people mention Taylor being umbilically attached to it - and Taylor himself admits he couldn't do his job without it - but he never arrives at a situation where it either comes into play to save their lives, or where he must discard it to avoid a Bullet To The Head.
Stallone narrates. In velvet baritone, he once again repeats his mantra from LOCK UP (1989), "Don't trust anybody." He tells us he's been arrested 26 times, as we see various mugshots through the years. Maybe his new 18-25 demographic won't look twice at these pics, but we've seen them thousands of times as publicity photos for ROCKY, RAMBO, COBRA, except now they've been hilariously Photoshopped wearing mugshot tags.
Mountainous muscle with a smile to melt butter - Jason Momoa is Keegan the killer mercenary (CONAN THE BARBARIAN 2011). Though he works for businessman/gangster Morel (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), he thinks nothing of dispatching even Morel's thugs with a - dare I? - Bullet To The Head. He's either totally insane, or totally on-script.
Christian Slater is a coked playa holding an EYES WIDE SHUT party - for the gratuitous flesh this movie needs to propel it at certain points when the shooting stops. He gives a flash-drive (a key piece of evidence) to Jimmy and Taylor, and Jimmy gives him - refrain - a Bullet To The Head.
Now what I don't understand is: why doesn't Taylor (oh, technocrat cop with the smart-phone up his butt) COPY the flash-drive so that this evidence is safe? Later, when Morel (the bad boss) retrieves the flash-drive, he doesn't think to ask whether copies were made, let alone torture anyone for the sake of finding out (or to make Dick Cheney hard).
Sarah Shahi is the eye candy, and plot cliché constantly being invoked:
1) She's really a tattoo artist, but with one year of med school, she'll remove a bullet from your shoulder while you swig on whiskey;
2) she tells Jimmy 'I don't remove bullets anymore' then removes a bullet;
3) she's smoking hot, so we WILL see a flash of those magnificent mammaries;
4) she's kidnapped to bargain for the flash-drive.
And we're in a Stallone movie: if we thought we were gonna get away WITHOUT seeing an axe fight in a warehouse, we must be 18-25. Keegan throws down two axes in challenge.
As Conan, muscular Momoa was surrounded by giant spectacle, so we couldn't grasp exactly how big he was. But here, though Stallone is ripped like a bridge cable (the power of good diet, prayer and steroids), Momoa towers over him. (I hope to see this guy in better roles soon; he'll probably end up in a Marvel or DC production.) One would think that Jimmy would beat Keegan by chopping his body or throwing him down a shaft or choking him with a chain (all totally viable kills in a clichéd Empty Warehouse Set), but in keeping with the tenor of the movie, Taylor shows up and shoots Keegan. Guess where he shoots him? Go on, guess. I'll give you ten guesses where he shoots him. Guess guess guess guess --
Heeey, how'd you guess?
Hit-man Jimmy Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) and Detective Taylor Kwon
(Sung Kang) form an unlikely alliance to bring down Keegan (Jason
Momoa) who killed their respective partners.
The setting is New Orleans and we had some very good Cajun music in the beginning. The only thing missing was a loud with blaring instruments - funeral march on the way to the cemetery. There was a loud march but we never saw a coffin so we are not sure what that was.
As with all hit-man movies, the hit-man must always (it's obligatory) tell us the rules he lives by. Most times we will see him breaking most if not all of those rules. Bonomo did break one rule: working with a detective.
Christian Slater as Baptiste was good as a bad guy lawyer. And, Sarah Shahi as Bonomo's daughter Lisa did an excellent job. Jason Momoa - as Keegan - is scary-good and the one Bonomo and Taylor are after. The ax fight between Bonomo and Keegan was well choreographed and exceptional and had us holding our breaths hoping Bonomo wins. Hey, it was close. But, the real breath of fresh air in here is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Morel, the big-boss bad guy. He just needs an agent to provide a new shorter name for him, but his delivery is pure gold.
Over all, not bad. Nothing new in here. You expect Stallone and his movies to act a certain way and they don't disappoint. The pacing was excellent. The banter between Bonomo and Taylor could have been better, quicker with more humor, but ..not bad. The action and stunts are very good. Some of the shootings may shock you especially when they are close. I jumped a couple times. (7/10)
Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: Yes. Drug Use: Yes, in the beginning. Language: Yes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love a good formulaic action movie as much as the next guy but jeez this was really really tough to watch. What was sly doing in this? I would guess for the chance to work with Walter Hill. Unfortunately it was really poorly directed and contains none of the guts that his films are famous for. There is absolutely no chemistry between Sly and his American Korean costar Sung Kang. In Fact Kang was so poor that it was hard not wanting his character to die as fast as possible and just let sly chew the scenery. The dialogue was full of groan moments and the only actor to have some fun in this was Cristian Slater. Unfortunately we don't get to see enough of his character. Every time I wanted to see a little bit more of a certain scene it would be cut or are we just go to the next scene. We never get to explore The atmosphere of the film. It had this fantastic backdrop of New Orleans and basically didn't use it. Overall I would not recommend watching this movie even if you like action movies. That is unless you're a die-hard Sly Completist or just want to know how not to make an action movie.
Sylvester Stallone is back again for Bullet to the head after Expendables 2 Released and this movie first time i head about this movie was the thing is about it was about to come out in (2012) year and date were gone it was delayed i am like what ????????????? and then after in 2013 it toke awhile and million years just to release this movie and this movie was about to come out in Australia April 18 then after the movie company cut it out for no f***ING god dam Reason then toke 1 year just to get this movie on Blu ray then when i bought it on Blu ray the movie was just Awesome seeing Rambo vs New Conan.Hollywood just hates Action Movies for what ? because they like s**t movies and because this is for Action Fans you don't have to be Action fan to watch this movie you don't. you can enjoy this movie easy. i am Action fan movies i love Stallone this movie is like Cobra 2 and Get Carter 2 and Assassins 2 you have same kinda same Villain Sylvester Stallone plays as Hit-man and then he Played Hit-man in Assassins and in Assassins the Villain Antonio Banderas looks like a bit like Jason Momoa long hair and same thing killing people kinda. it's not same as Assassins in this movie has blood and guts and blowing people heads off this movie is good dam awesome and Sarah Shari was Beautiful Sylvester Stallone Daughter in movie and this was very awesome film ever made best action movies in 2013 better 00's movies on this year this is like Classic on old school Acioner and Badass and Glory and Better Action scenes story was awesome this like Get Carter 2 and Assassins 2 kinda same this movie 10/10 Sylvester Stallone is my man
The name of this movie is called " A Bullet to the Head. " It was directed by Walter Hill. The story follows two men, James Bonomo and Taylor Kwon (Sylvester Stallone and Sung Kang), who have recently both lost partners to criminal violence. Seeking revenge, they join forces and begin tracking those responsible. Their main adversary is king pin, Marcus Baptiste (Christian Slater). From the on set, both men must reconcile their differences and their approach. With the law and a daughter in the balance, much physical action, energetic violence and outright mayhem ensues. The main character (Stallone) uses the direct approach, while (Sung) reminds him of the strict legal police procedures. The film itself is difficult to follow as the director uses much dark matter, minimally lighted backgrounds and shadowy figures to tell his story. Despite the brutal violence and the explosive scenes our main character does well to remind the audience of his legendary physical prowess. Thus, we understand why the director filmed this movie in the dark. Maybe it's because the aging action figure wants to hide his mounting facial lines. Nevertheless, it's a good story and I still applause his effort. Recommended to his many fans. ****
"The guy I just saved is a cop. That's not the usual way I do things but sometimes you gotta abandon your principles and do what's right." James Bonomo (Stallone) is a career criminal with a partner that he trusts. Taylor Kwan (Kang) is a cop with a partner he trusts. When both their partners get killed by the same man they from an alliance to take him down but being on opposite sides of the law means they both have their own way of doing things. I'll open by saying that this movie was pretty much exactly what I expected. There are actors with a wide range of talent and can play almost any role they want. Then there are actors that can't play a wide range but try to and it never turns out well. Then there are actors like Stallone. He knows is limitations and stays within them, he doesn't always make the best movies but at least he doesn't try and do Shakespere. This is a movie that has the feel of an 80's action movie which is what he is best at. Nothing really new or original but it is entertaining. Overall, if you are a Stallone fan then you will like this. I thought it was OK. I give it a B.
With the unlikely alliance with a cop, a career criminal sets about to
exact revenge after he is double crossed.
Far more memorable than Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand, writer Alessandro Camon's screenplay (based on Alexis Nolent's graphic novel) and director Walter Hill don't try to reinvent the action-wheel and too the films credit Sylvester Stallone successfully goes against his usual casting playing an unsavoury character namely James Bonomo (Marion Cobretti, Stallone's own "Cobra" would have certainly despised him).
Despite clichés, some unnecessary flashbacks, over exposition, even repeating plot points just in case you missed them the first time around Bullet to the Head is reminiscent of the Fast and Furious in style with a touch Red Heat with the leads conflicting opinions and one-liners. Vetran director Hill proves he still knows how to direct a solid action film with kinetic axe, gun and fist fights. Christian Slater has a memorable cameo with Jason Momoa proving he's more than just a Arnie alternative.
It's and old school action with modern slick delivery, worth a watch.
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.
Well, the plot has several clichés and predictable scenes, but the run is smooth and similarities/differences of Bonomo-Kwon (what a strange partnership!) are catchy to follow. The ending scenes have twists and are not plain depiction of good winning bad. Sylvester Stallone is still fit and tough, outperforming all his co- actors, including Christian Slater whose consent to his small trivial role seemed odd to me. Sung Kang was too arid and gloomy, I would have chosen someone else - even for the sake of widening the audience through an "ethnic" actor... Nevertheless, if you do not seek profundity, Bullet to the Head is well watchable, and 1 hour 25 minutes pass quickly and without yawning.
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