Bullet to the Head: Bang, Bang, Flop
Adewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeChristian Slater...
Action & AdventureDrama...
In 1 Cinema
Eighties action stalwarts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and
Sylvester Stallone, have been rather busy in the past couple of years. Successfully
creeping their way back onto the silver-screen, the boys have been determined
to pay homage to their own work and perhaps even show off a muscle or two – just
to prove that they’ve still got ‘it’.
With Arnie firmly back in the saddle with The Last Stand and Willis soon to appear in another Die Hard sequel, it’s now Sly’s turn to
show who’s boss.
His latest feature finds him in the hands of the director Walter
Hill. Inspired by French graphic novel, Du
Plomb Dans La Tete, and
working from an Alessandro Camon script, Bullet to the Head’s centre of focus is James Banomo
(Stallone) – aka Jimmy Bobo; a hit-man and a long time criminal, who’s sent to New
Orleans on a job to take out police officer, Hank Greely (McCallany). Although successful in his mission, Jimmy’s
partner Louis (Seda) is mysteriously murdered by local hoodlum, Keegan (Momoa),
leaving him itching for vengeance.
Meanwhile, Detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) arrives in New Orleans to
investigate the murder of Greely – a former partner of his. Kwon’s
investigations quickly lead to Jimmy. Animosity turns to grudging partnership
as the two men find themselves tangled in a web of lies, corrupt authorities and
the shady dealings of pseudo-mob boss, Robert Morel, and his lawyer, Marcus Baptiste (Slater).
The blasts of disoriented violence and massive shootouts – which of
course include nine headshots – reek of Walter Hill. But having only occasionally dipped his toe
in the Hollywood pool over the last decade, some of the action scenes feel
slightly outdated. The plot itself is wafer-thin and as soon as the action
stops, there isn’t much happening – apart from the banal banter that fails to build
a connection between the two leading characters.
Physically, Stallone is in great shape and he is definitely not afraid
to flaunt it. Unfortunately, his monotone delivery during more reflective,
soul-searching scenes is bizarre and just too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
Meanwhile, Kang tries his hardest to be the intimidating, no-nonsense police officer,
but minimal damage is done. Not much can
be said for Slater either, who once again appears and disappears without making
a significant impact.
By and large, Bullet to the Head is
thoroughly generic and utterly predictable and if it wasn’t for the few
sporadic action scenes in between to keep things ticking along, it would have
been a total blow.