Film Review – Bullet to the Head (2012)

Bullet to the Head

Title – Bullet to the Head (2012)

Director – Walter Hill (The Warriors)

Cast – Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Sarah Shahi

Plot – Hitman Jason “Bobo” Bonomo (Stallone) must team up with D.C detective Taylor Kwoon (Kang) when his partner dies after a deal goes sour. This mismatched pair will find themselves head to head with dangerous thug Keegan (Momoa) and also Bobo’s estranged daughter and make-shift doctor Lisa (Shahi).

“Are we gonna fight or are you planning on boring me to death”

Review by Eddie on 29/10/2013

If only they made this movie 20 – 30 years ago, my goodness what an event it would have been. You would have had Stallone then at the top of his dry humour tough guy persona and Walter Hill on a roll with such action gems as The Warriors and 48 Hrs behind him, I can see it now being one of the decade’s biggest and cheesiest action movies racking in millions upon millions of young men’s money. Fast forward to 2013 and what do you have however? A movie that flopped worse than Stallone’s facial skin and a movie that merely presents passable entertainment for a Friday night pizza and movie session. I repeat, if only this movie was made 20 – 30 years ago.

Bullet to the Head adapted from the graphic novel of the same name is a pretty sad attempt to spend a 50 million dollar action budget for what is presented on screen is a film worthy of it’s in many cases direct to DVD release. It looks nasty, it feels cheap and features many an actor who goes from pay check to pay check (here’s looking at you Mr. Slater) who should know better. It’s a tale of revenge and mismatched pairing that is a staple of the action genre since the dawn of the genre and is only saved by complete mediocrity by the old stallion himself.

Stallone as bad boy hitman “Bobo” does enough wisecracking and menacing looks that you actually believe he works out at the gym and doesn’t take steroids and there is some quite decent banter between him and Korean star Kang as out of town cop to present some giggles and show you what could have been if more care had been paid to quality control. Hill also shows just enough old time flare behind the camera to allow some scenes some energy and keeps the pace frolicking along nice and steady almost as if to not allow the audience time to think about just how bad the story line is.

Bullet to the Head may provide nice nostalgic entertainment for those children of the 80’s action hey days but as a modern day movie it just doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s not hard to see why this movie came and disappeared faster than a bullet but it’s also to silly to completely deride. Grab a pizza, grab some mates and sit back for 90 minutes of 80’s-lite action that you’ll forget as soon as the credits have rolled.

2 random autopsy’s out of 5

13 responses to “Film Review – Bullet to the Head (2012)

  1. Personally I am a little sceptic about these eighties-esque action films. Some can pull it off OK (The Expendables was hilarious and Expendables 2 was watchable, Rambo IV also threw the audience to the more brutal side of action films.) But the truth is that time has moved past the old-style action films. It is sad to note that directors with even some skill and big money are turning to trashy big budget action films that are hollow, confused and disgustingly violent. Machete is a prime example of this in my opinion.

    Trashiness is sometimes OK and in indie films it is even something you expect, but shoveling millions of dollars to confused and bloated gorefests is just something I can’t quite accept nor condone. Nostalgia stems from things made in the past, not from pseudo-nostalgic films.

    But thanks for the review, I will try to Bullet to the Head.

    Isn’t the guy’s name Jason Momoa? I think you have spelled it “Mamoa”.

      • AH I must say I disagree with the Machete hate! Robert Rodriguez is one of the most skilful directors of his generation, and the Machete films act as great accompanying pieces to his original Mexican trilogy in El Mariachi, Desperado and Once Upon A Time In Mexico.
        In my opinion there are far more problems with the void of originality and passion Expendables films.

      • Anytime!

        To Jordan: I agree that Rodriguez is skilled.; his Mexican trilogy is a good one, with solid performances and strong, well directed action scenes. However, I feel that Machete was both unnecessary and confused, trying to mix strong-yet-over-the-top violence with serious social commentary and manhunt allegorisms (DeNiro hunting Mexicans, the whole illegal immigrant-issue). Somehow violence, societal critique, exploitation and dark comedy turned against each other.

        At least, imho, The Expendables realized that, even though not necessarily a good movie per se, it could entertain once or twice by bringing back a piece of the very black-and-white world view of old action flicks accompanied with the biggest old-school action heroes. I admit, though, that even though Expendables 2 was still watchable, it was somewhat lukewarm, essentially repeating the first movie. The fact that I never purchased either films on DVD tells a lot about the lack of impact they had on me. They were fun to watch once, nothing to passionately hate, but nothing to be too hyped about either.

        All in all, I hope that action genre would move forwards again.


  2. Stallone and Arnold both appear to be attempting their 68 comeback special with movies like this, the Expendables, and Arnie’s “The Last Stand”… I find the ones they group in together (like the prison movie they just did) are slightly more memorable than the ones where they try to go it alone as their star power ain’t what it used to be… But yeah, I watched this months ago, enjoyed it, and then quickly forgot it. I was going to review it in fact, but aside from the big axe fight at the end, nothing is really coming back to me to review.

    • It really did lack any memorable moments unfortunately, I really look forward to seeing Escape Plan however with the two old geezers. Got a feeling it will be silly fun at it’s finest.

  3. Well put, I found this film just to be way too serious and ultimately very boring. Though it did pose one poignant question: what ever happened to Christian Slater? He was a big name once.

    At least ‘The Last Stand’ and ‘Escape Plan’ were fun and done with an element of tongue in cheek humour, always necessary considering the likes of Sly and Arnie are not exactly great actors. ‘Escape Plan’ is particularly good fun.

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