BULLET TO THE HEAD
"Revenge Never Gets
(1 Feb 2013) Director:
Starting with “I got your old guy
Sylvester Stallone wisecracked, shot, stabbed,
punched, and drank his way through Bullet to the Head. [Bulleit
must have paid handsomely to be so prominently featured.
If they paid handsomely to help make a Stallone movie, I'm all for
promoting them here as a thank you!] The movie was a little
Transporter-ish and like
Parker, and like
Statham's characters Stallone’s character
James Bonomo aka “Jimmy Bobo” has rules.
We get to see those
rules in action from the get go. The movie also features a
gnarly kill near the beginning as Stallone gives
someone the Final Destination treatment.
They keep up
the “Bang. Down. Owned” pace, and the movie's overall killcount is
henchman character “Keegan” seems subdued. He’s quiet and his
movements economical like
Schwarzenegger as The Terminator.
When he strolls through a place, he trails lethality like a shark
cruising for the kill, but when he and Stallone have their first
fight scene in the men’s room, we get a taste of what’s to come.
Love the Action Movie staple: the
The dynamic between Bobo and Sung
Kang’s character “Taylor Kwon” is Buddy-Movie-style
fun, but it was played up in the trailer and some of what they
showed you was not in the movie. Shame, since it was just 1:32, I
would have liked more.
It was a 'by-the-book' versus 'the-real-world'
clash of methods. You know Stallone’s right and you think it’s just
a matter of time and circumstances until
Kwon realizes that. The
theme that “huge amounts of money can lead a man to temptation”
played well against Jimmy Bobo being on the wrong side of the law,
but still in the right. When Bobo says “We’ll get him and take
him out.” Kwon contradicts “You mean take him in.” Bobo
replies “Out, in, whatever.” It brought to mind the
Dirty Harry series (particularly Magnum Force) and the
expeditious meting out of “justice”.
When Kwon tries to be the policeman
and takes the firing pin out of Bobo’s gun (nearly costing him his
life), the two clash. I loved the line “You had me at ‘Fuck
You.’” Stallone is running an investigation into the death of
his partner, Jon Seda’s character “Louis Blanchard”,
his way. He accepts Kwon’s help and we get to watch the old way and
the new way find common ground.
I really like Jon Seda. Loved
his character "Det. Paul Falsone" on Homicide and Law & Order. He’s been in every good
cop-themed TV Show there is (NYPD Blue, New York Undercover,
Under Fire, Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, Third Watch,
Homicide: The Movie, UC: Undercover, Las Vegas, CSI: Miami, The
Closer, and Hawaii Five-O), as well as some great movies
(Carlito’s Way, Twelve Monkeys, Primal Fear, Undisputed, and
Bad Boys II). I just wish he could have been around longer in
this movie. I think they cast him for the sake of his background,
hoping that we would like Louis because of who Jon is. It would
have made a better movie if we knew Louis better so we could want
vengeance for this death.
When we get to see Bobo’s methods in
action, we see why he’s still alive. I loved the payoffs for the
note about C-4 in his file. True to the best Action movies,
they blow shit up. Stallone knows what we want to see. This movie
really was a throwback to the
Awesome 1980s Age of Action.
Stallone kept the one-liners coming. “Touch her and I’ll kill
you with a fucking rock.” Snap! Crackle! Pop!
A false note
I didn’t like was the gratuitous nudity. I
thought it was especially inappropriate to show
character’s daughter naked. The way it seemed, they
needed to show you what she looked like naked as some sort of
visual shorthand to say she was worth saving or worth falling in love with.
Momoa’s character could also have been a
little more in depth. If they had set up who he was and how he
worked a little more, we might have been a little more
happy/satisfied to see him get his comeuppance. Still, we know
enough to sense the danger when he’s
told “When I want your opinion, I’ll buy you a brain” by
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s villain character “Morel”. You’re thinking BIG mistake!
Keegan can’t let that stand. As big
a cautious wheeler dealer as Morel was, you’d think he’d be a
little smarter than to bait a shark.
I really enjoyed Bullet to the Head
overall. I love
Stallone, and was willing to suspend disbelief
to see him in action again. He takes some hard-looking hits and the
final fight between him and Momoa, although not plausible, was
The whole final showdown scene was
much more complicated than I thought it would be. Of course it
takes place in a typical Action Movie setting
["Factory/Warehouse/Castle"—check out allouttabubblegum.com's
hilarious and dead-on
Action Movie Checklist
(scoll down)]. Again, a high killcount. And, at last, Kwon steps up when it counts.
Stallone might look ridiculously small next to Momoa in the
axe-fight scene. Momoa is listed as 6’ 4” on IMDB and 6’ 5” on
Wikipedia. He’s 33. Stallone is 66, and 5’ 9˝”. But the way it was
shot and even the scenes when they were together, Bobo’s character
was tough enough that you thought he might take Keegan out, fueled
Stallone has a metal plate in his neck
and as I watched him lunge and get bounced around, I thought, is it
worth it? One wrong move and he could snap his neck and die or
be paralyzed from the force of bone against the metal inside him.
The biggest false note for me in the
movie was the
ending. I thought Kwon would come around, but he doesn’t. You just
can’t teach some people. You would have thought he would have had
the lightbulb moment when Stallone saved him from getting a bullet
to the head from the Police Chief.
This movie makes me
wonder what it will take to make Stallone retire. He's got so many
other talents. We really don't want to see him strain to move his
neck. Revenge Never Gets Old . . . But Action Heroes Do.
I just hope he doesn't keep going like
Burt Reynolds did with Burn
Notice. Nobody that old and frail looking (he was 74) should be
throwing punches. Doesn't mean we don't love him. I really
wish he'd pick somebody young (like
Lautner or ) as an
auteur and make movies!!
Now that Jason Momoa's
been Conan, and starred with Stallone, will he step into the
Figure shoes? IMDB lists him in Wolves
(Horror) and Road to Paloma (Drama/Thriller) both in post
production and due out this year.