SYLVESTER STALLONE   SUNG KANG   JASON MOMOA   CHRISTIAN SLATER

BULLET TO THE HEAD

Apparently, Nicholas Cage was unavailable to make the latest cheap, cheesy, predictable action flick coming out of Louisiana. In his continuing attempt to resurrect his film career, 66 year old Sylvester Stallone, in between planning the next Expendables movie, turns in a movie I’m sure he has made ten times previously (Avenging Angelo, Get Carter, Eye See You, etc). If a movie is set in New Orleans or Baton Rouge with an action star, automatically you have corruption, drugs, and a big body count (this one is over 35). Bullet to the Head is actually based on a graphic novel, but it might as well be based on every cliché in Stallone’s film career.

James Bonomo (Stalone) and his partner are set up on a hit they are hired to do; James’s partner doesn’t survive and the retribution begins. An honest DC detective is sent down to New Orleans to investigate the recent murders and ends up teaming up with criminal James when he discovers the corruption has infiltrated the police department. When they are not pointing their weapons at each other, James and Detective Kwon (Kang) start climbing the ladder to see how who is behind the killing and the set up. Once in possession of a hard drive that contains names of high political figures, the unlikely duo have to trust each other to survive.

“Either we do it my way, or we don’t do it at all,” Bonomo says as only Stallone could gruffly murmur. Bullet to the Head is a melting pot of Rush Hour, Gran Torino and Lethal Weapon. Bonomo makes all the stereotypical Asian jokes, while Kang provides an admirable stopping ground for the mindless comedy. It’s actually Kang (Fast & Furious) that gives the movie it’s only footing. If you are a fan of Stallone, and I can’t imagine anyone watching this for any other reason, then you already know what you want to get out of this.

If you look at actors like Clint Eastwood, Bill Murray, even Mickey Rourke, they have all found new facets of their careers to keep them relevant. The most amusing element of The Expendables is that all those has-been 90’s actors by inclusion are admitting their irrelevancy (and by doing so becoming relevant again, which is ironic), but Stallone appears to have taken that success as a sign to make more movies like those that made him irrelevant in the first place. Bonomo’s arrogance was a bit over the top as a character trait, combined with zero suspense, which is generally the key ingredient for an action film, makes this not something you watch, but rather force yourself to endure.

Final Thought – If you’ve seen one Stallone film, you have seen them all.

Grade C-               By: Dustin Chase