Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bullet To The Head

Year: 2013
Director: Walter Hill
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Sarah Shahi, Christian Slater, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Plot: In order to avenge his partner's death, a hitman teams up with a cop to take down the men responsible.

Review: After The Last Stand, we have yet another old school action film, courtesy of Walter Hill, an old school action director known for films like Red Heat and 48 Hrs, among others.

It's called Bullet To The Head for a reason, because nearly all the kills are direct shots to the head. This of course means extreme violence is expected, but if you like old school action, then this shouldn't be a problem for you.

Stallone stars as Jimmy Bobo, a hitman whose partner gets killed by a mercenary hired by Bobo's employers to tie up loose ends, with Bobo barely escaping death himself. The murder gets the attention of Taylor Kwon (Fast Five's Sung Kang), a cop who is investigating Bobo's last job. Bobo and Kwon end up joining forces to find the mercenary (Jason Momoa) and his employer and make them pay. This of course leads to a handful of situations where Bobo plays by his own rules while Kwon gets in his way because of his principles.

Hill does his best playing up the popular buddy cop routine while keeping the action hard and fast. The action is pretty impressive as Hill pulls no punches with the violence. As stated above, nearly everyone gets shot in the head, leading to a climax where Stallone and Momoa engage in an axe fight.

Teaming Stallone and Sung together might seem weird at first, since they don't look like the typical duo you'd put next to one another, but it gradually works, even though Sung is clearly outshone by the veteran Sly. Stallone does most of the action here, leaving Sung to be a sidekick instead of a partner. At the very least, they share good chemistry on screen. Momoa is pretty intense as the mercenary Keegan, making himself a solid villain. Sarah Shahi doesn't have much to do here as Bobo's daughter, her role being relegated to a vulnerable point for Stallone's character. Christian Slater, who hasn't had a film role in years, makes good with his limited screentime as a slimy lawyer who works for Keegan's employer. I mean, can you imagine Slater in this role, after seeing him be a nice guy back in the day? Awesome.

The film does suffer from some very corny lines by Stallone, especially the ones he says while narrating the film from time to time, but it's to be expected. It doesn't take away the fun on a whole, thankfully.

If you like old school violence, Bullet To The Head is a solid choice. (3.5/5)

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