Bullet To The Head
“Bullet To The Head” is a macho, meathead monstrosity that stands out as another low point for Sylvester Stallone in a career that is already chock full of them. This movie isn’t just incompetent, it’s not even trying.
Stallone–sounding like he just chugged a whole bottle of NyQuil–is a mid-level hit man with a code of honor in New Orleans (where many a forgettable two bit action thriller is filmed these days).
When he’s double-crossed and his partner is murdered, Stallone vows revenge and uncovers a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. It involves a land deal to build new condos, and high-level corruption involving shady power player Christian Slater. There’s also glowering, charisma-free hit man Jason Momoa who’s been assigned to take out Stallone.
Along the way, Stallone gets paired up with an Asian detective working the case. But he seems to exist only so Stallone can throw out casually racist insults and call him the names of other Asian sidekicks from other better movies.
After one such reference to samurais, detective Taylor Kwan (Sung Kang) corrects Stallone and says he’s Korean, not Japanese, and points out his racist lack of understanding. But the film still lets Stallone have the last word. And this illustrates what is essentially wrong with this movie. It’s hasn’t changed with the times. It’s not 1985 anymore but it still expects its audience to identify with worldviews and opinions as creaky and outdated as its star.
The script is remarkably lazy even by Stallone’s standards. Exposition is awkwardly shoehorned into the middle of scenes without a shred of style, class, or humor. The dialogue sounds like it was written by a kindergartner. And the film relies on a Stallone voice over (never a good idea) to fill in the gaps of a plot which goes nowhere.
The film doesn’t try to deliver much action, it doesn’t try to be a thriller, it doesn’t even try to be camp. It’s just a collection of scenes placed together murdering your time for an agonizing 91 minutes.
Anyone wandering into a Sylvester Stallone movie in 2013 already has diminished expectations, but “Bullet To The Head” manages to fail even by those exceedingly low standards.
It has all the appeal of a graying slab of beef in the discount bin at the supermarket. It may have been usable once, but now it’s just well past its expiration date.