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Bullet to the Head

Posted by admin on February 8, 2013

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You know who’s badass? Heroes. And I don’t mean superheroes like Spider-man or Wolverine. I’m talking about people that are willing to put their own lives at rick because they have nothing to lose; those loner drifters that have questionable backstories, but at least have a plan for now. They are willing to go after somebody or something to find that closure on them. Maybe what they’re looking for is that same thing that changed them. I like those characters in film, but they are very hard to write and showcase. The biggest setbacks are the result of either making them too unlikable or with no personality.

These kinds of projects are not going to attract Tom Hanks or Jim Carrey, so Hollywood’s got to turn to those action heroes that have a hard time finding normal roles. It’s easy to strap Bruce Willis in a building and roll the camera as he’s killing some terrorists because it’s universally marketable. As long as a big guy’s killing bad guys, then people will love it. One byproduct that’s constantly taking movie roles like these is Sylvester Stallone. He’s the kind of actor who’s worked hard enough to pick any movie he wants, and he decided to go old school and chose Bullet to the Head.

In the heart of New Orleans, hitman Jimmy Bobo (played by Sylvester Stallone) takes crap from no one. Whatever he wants, he’ll use everything he has to get it, no matter how old he is. In the opening scene, he and his partner kill a corrupt policeman who is with a prostitute. Only moments later is Bobo’s partner murdered by an even taller, burlier man named Keegan. Bobo is out for revenge.

Investigating the murder of the policeman, detective Taylor Kwon (played by Sung Kang). After visiting with the prostitute that was with the man, she tells Taylor that it was Bobo that made the murder. When he tries to confront Bobo, he’s ambushed by other corrupt policemen who are trying to prevent further investigation. Bobo rescues Taylor and goes to a tattoo parlor where his daughter Lisa treats some wounds. They find their way to a masquerade party where a lawyer Marcus Baptiste (played by Christian Slater) is discussing plans to blackmail his client. After a fierce torture scene Marcus reveals to Bobo that local corrupt business man Robert Moral is planning to buy slum housing and put up office buildings. Apparently, this Robert guy is responsible for the death of Bobo’s partner.

You can already tell many problems with Bullet to the Head in the last paragraph; it becomes very complicated. Good, god, I’ve never heard of a revenge story so difficult since The Count of Monte Cristo. At least that one is a classic. This movie is not. Why put in all this political and business sleaze just for a tough guy revenge story? In fact, most of the first forty-five minutes is nothing but boring dialogue that’s trying to get across exposition at it’s worst.

You would think that it must have some good action to make up for it. Well…not for a while. My other problem is that the story of a tough guy teaming up with a straight man has been done thousands of times. You know the drill. Their going to banter with each other, makes jokes about each other, teach each other, and eventually become friends with each other. But nothing about this is different. Stallone plays a clone of Rambo. Sung Kang is every white guy performed by him. The villains are stock. It’s a lot of action movies you’ve seen before.

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I’ll give this two unfinished tattoos out of five. Bullet to the Head misses several shots, and it’s last try is only minimal. 

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