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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bullet To The Head Movie Review

It all starts with a hit. Sylvester Stallone is Jimmy Bobo, who, along with his partner Louis (Jon Seda) is tasked with popping off comically over-the-top drugged out ex-cop, Hank Greely. Between the pills, multiple lines of cocaine and the bottle of booze he keeps swigging from during the opening credits, it's a wonder why they don't just leave him to overdose on this own time. Nonetheless, they do their job, head out to meet their contact at a bar and find that they have become targets, themselves. Jimmy gets out; Louis is not so lucky.

Meanwhile, Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang of "Fast & Furious" fame) is Greely's ex-partner, and swoops, unwelcome, onto the scene in the investigation of his murder. Seeing Greely and Louis in the morgue side by side, he decides there must be a connection, so, armed with his Blackberry (an improbably reliable source of information that is always somehow relevant to whatever he's looking for at the time), he searches out Louis's known associate Jimmy and the fun begins.

A little chase scene ends in the two joining forces, and after that, the rest of the movie is just a string of action sequences stitched together by pithy one-liners, racist jokes directed at Kwon and lots of Stallone just being Stallone. And how very Stallone he is. From the sometimes-unintelligible mumble to the bulging, juiced-up muscles, Stallone seems out to prove that he's every bit the actor he was in the eighties. And succeeds. Wrinkles and leathery, slightly saggy skin aside, not much has changed.

As our hero and anti-hero work their way up the chain of corruption and power, they are dogged at every turn by menacing and taciturn Keegan (Jason Momoa, Khal Drogo in "Game of Thrones"), who proves himself a worthy villain. Christian Slater makes an appearance as a sleezy lawyer, who hosts a masquerade that seems to be part of the story only to get some full frontal nudity in there. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko from "Lost") does his best to be intimidating as kingpin behind it all.

The whole thing climaxes in what ends up feeling more like an old-school platform video game than a high-stakes shootout. You almost expect everyone to suddenly turn pixelated and start jumping around to 8-bit music. Director Walter Hill ("Aliens") got lazy here, and the result is mostly predictable. Ultimately, it all ends in an axe fight, which is unexpected if not a little silly. Silly, it may be, but we're talking about a graphic novel turned Stallone movie called "Bullet to the Head". You get what you pay for with this one.

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