Film: Bullet to the Head
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Christian Slater
Director: Walter Hill
When it comes to action films, don’t you just love the way the titles sum up what lies in store for viewers, and also give fair warning to the faint of heart? With yesteryear action stars making their bulky presence felt on the silverscreen, Stallone, too, gets an outing to flex his muscles, courtesy action veteran/ Buddy Cop genre inventor Hill.
When the bad guys take out a hitman and a corrupt cop, the lowlifes’ respective partners, the knife-weilding Jimmy Bobo (Stallone) and Detective Taylor Kwon (Kang) form an unlikely pair to take them on.
As expected, there’s a bit of friction between the two over Bobo’s cut-throat methods with Kwon playing the straight-laced upright cop who holds his brutality in contempt. The majority of the laughs are derived from this.
The screenplay doesn’t hold a great deal of intricacies by way of plotting. This is a text-book action film. Most of the screen time, in fact, is dominated by jolting acts of violence (many of which are allusions to the title), and Stallone nonchalantly swaggering off. The writing gets the job done. Apart from Stallone’s grey character, everyone else is either good or evil. One refreshing point though is that Bobo, the ruthless mercenary, doesn’t crave redemption or want to clean his bloody slate.
Kang is pretty good as the clean cop who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Slater is entertaining as one of the slimey bad guys and Stallone is dependable as ever. One wishes that there was more to Shahi’s character than her merely being the damsel in distress to be rescued.
Visually, the film is nothing to write home about. A smarter editing job would have kept things choppier. The yellow fades used at the end of particular scenes are totally inexplicable. Overall, while the film is not as explosive as The Raid: Redemption, Bullet in the Head is a decent, but forgettable, little action movie. Stallone/action fans who are keen on this one could definitely give it a shot.