Bullet to the Head
Sylvester Stallone’s latest outing is an adaptation of French graphic novel series Du Plombe Dans la Tete. It is directed by action veteran Walter Hill, who enjoyed success in the 70s and 80s with films such as The Warriors and 48 hours – to which Bullet to the Head seems to pay homage.
Stallone stars as Jimmy Bobo, a ruthless, straight-talking hitman on the hunt for the people who killed his long time partner. In the film’s opening scene, we see Bobo and his soon-to-be-dead partner Louis (Jon Seda) bust into an apartment and promptly dispose of its occupant, a crooked ex-cop. His lady friend is spared, so we know right off the bat that Bobo is one of those gentleman professional hitmen who doesn’t kill women, children, or evidently cats. Phew!
Bobo has supposedly seen it all, and has 26 arrests and a dead-pan delivery to prove it. While on this revenge mission, he forms an alliance with by-the-book detective Taylor Kwan (Sung Kang), also looking for his partner’s killer. Their search reveals the underlying corruption of a city riddled with conmen, thieves and hired killers. High among them sleazy lawyer Marcus Baptiste, played by Christian Slater. When Bobo’s daughter (the only fully dressed woman in the film) is kidnapped, murder, mayhem, and axe battles in abandoned warehouses ensue.
Bullet to the Head is loyal to its title, as by the end, there are lots of bullets in many heads. If this does not sound compelling, it may be best to give this one a miss, as there is little else going on here, aside from a barrage of mumbled, misfired one liners and a platform for Stallone to prove he can still walk around shirtless.
We’re in familiar territory here. This is a standard issue, old school, no-frills action thriller that requires little thought and is instantly forgettable. The film is full of holes, and not just those in people’s heads, but it’s safe to assume a coherent plotline and snappy script were not high on the agenda. Nevertheless, for fans of Stallone’s previous output, Bullet to the Head will probably not disappoint.
Lucy Cait Jordan
Bullet to the Head is released nationwide on 1st February 2013.
Watch the trailer for Bullet to the Head here: