Review: BULLET TO THE HEAD (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Friday, 1 February 2013

Review: BULLET TO THE HEAD (2013)

Review: BULLET TO THE HEAD (2013)
The combination of Sylvester Stallone and director Walter Hill of 48 HRS fame sounds like lots of fun, but BULLET TO THE HEAD only accomplishes as a forgettable old-school action movie.

It's been ten years since Walter Hill last directed a feature movie (and that was 2002's UNDISPUTED). His new movie, BULLET TO THE HEAD, seems like a perfect fit for his long-awaited comeback. It has two combined genres associated with Hill's trademarks -- gritty action tone and buddy element. However, BULLET TO THE HEAD is hardly as great as 48 HRS (Hill's breakthrough movie back in 1982) but rather a forgettable effort ruined by uninspired direction and equally uninspired script by Alessandro Camon.


Based on Matz's graphic novel Du plomb dans la tete, the movie begins with two New Orleans veteran hitmen James Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) and his longtime partner Louis (Jon Seda) have successfully completed their latest assignment of killing a corrupted cop named Hank Greely (Holt McCallany). But soon after, Louis gets brutally stabbed at a crowded bayou bar Crawfish Hollow by a hulking bad guy named Keegan (Jason Momoa). Jimmy vows revenge and starts to take things personal by hunting down whoever responsible for Louis' death.

Meanwhile, a Korean NYPD cop Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) arrives in town to find out who killed Hank, his former partner. Kwon eventually knows that Hank's death is related to Jimmy. However, it turns out that the case has plenty of conspiracy involved, which later forces Kwon and Jimmy teaming up together in an effort to catch their respective partners' killers.


Stallone deserves a few praises for playing a straight-faced tough guy with wisecracking attitude, while Jason Momoa is physically daunting as the fearless Keegan and he proves to be a great villain who doesn't require to emote or act a lot.


The climactic axe fights between Stallone and Momoa.


Alessandro Camon's adapted screenplay is awfully formulaic. Everything in BULLET TO THE HEAD is too shopworn to qualify this as a worthwhile action thriller. Speaking of action, most of them are nothing more than a series of unimaginative shootouts and fisticuffs. Even Walter Hill seems to go auto-pilot as the director. He's totally a pale shadow of himself here.

As a buddy genre, both Stallone and Kang has none of the chemistry of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 HRS, or even Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi in RED HEAT. Sung Kang's performance is particularly stiff and uncharismatic.


BULLET TO THE HEAD is such a missed opportunity that could have put the long-forgotten Walter Hill back into the Hollywood map. And as for Stallone, he certainly deserves better than this turd.

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