Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Bullet to the Head’ Review: Less than Mediocre Sly Flick

Sylvester Stallone proves he can still kick a lot of butt and look cool doing it. But in Bullet to the Head, not only does the joke get old pretty quick; it’s a completely unmemorable film.

New Orleans hitman James Bonomo (Stallone) reluctantly teams up with Detective Taylor Kwon (Fast Five’s Sung Kang) to find the team of bad guys who killed both of their partners.

The dialogue and jokes between Stallone and Kwon are forced and their chemistry isn’t where it needs to be. They’re no Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker, Colin Farrell/Sam Rockwell or Jamie Foxx/Christoph Waltz.

Bullet has a few outstanding supporting performances that benefit the film. Christian Slater, who plays the richie bad guy in the film, is pitch perfect in this role. His sleazy accent and eagerness to talk when tied up in the clutches of Sly is quite comedic. Plus when you love True Romance as much as I do, it’s quite impossible to dislike him in anything.

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Jason Momoa (HBO’s Game of Thrones) would make any action movie better just by gracing the screen with his stone-cold stare. As the ultimate bad guy, it’s his character that surprisingly grounds the film for what it is: a mindless, sometimes fun action flick. There is a scene near the end of the film where he and Sly battle in an ax fight, enough to make any Sly, Games of Thrones fan or action movie junkie geek out.

Director Walter Hill borrows from older Sly films and it works a little bit, but the voiceover becomes goofy, treating the audience like 12-year-olds. There are only so many photos you can show of young Sly before the film is too reminiscent of his better action flicks, in a bad way that is.

Some Sly fans may enjoy Bullet to the Head for its occasional funny one-liners and an all tattooed-up Stallone with muscles bigger than the average body builder; but most filmgoers will forget about the film the minute they leave the theatre.

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