Bullet to the Head

Bullet to the Head will adequately please the action sweet tooth, but aside from that there isn’t much to set it apart from other action movies. Shaky characters, rough script, and a dispensary of one-liners, the movie will struggle to entertain a large audience. Stallone, and Kang work well together but unfortunately their characters are severely underdeveloped and lack any kind of growth to make the end worthwhile.

Riding off the latest trend of 80’s throwback action movies, Bullet to the Head hit theaters this past Friday. Starring Sylvester Stallone, and Sung Kang, the movie aims to bring the nonstop action that fans of Stallone have come to associate with his movies.

Bullet to the head

When a hired hitman, Jimmy Bobo (Stallone), finds himself in the middle of a power struggle mix up, he teams up with Detective Taylor Kwon (Kang), to help get to the bottom of it and avenge his former partner. The two must come to grips with their different stances on moral duty and work together even if it’s on different sides of the law.

Bullet to the Head ends up suffering through some of the same pitfalls that The Last Stand faced. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that helps Bullet to the Head stand apart from other action movies and for most of the ride we’re treading along familiar waters. The thing that makes The Last Stand more appealing is that it tried to have fun with its action where as Bullet to the Head takes itself way too seriously and ends up inducing a lot of eye rolling throughout the movie.

However, the action is entertaining, although maybe too much on the chaotic, shaky cam side. It’s brutal, unforgiving, and fast paced, and of course well done. It’s great to still be able see Stallone on screen dealing out vicious hits and brutal punishments. The movie will have hard time pleasing a large audience, but it does enough to reward action fans.

At its core Bullet to the Head is a revenge movie. There’s no twists or turns, and it plows through for the most part pretty straight forward. The cast is a grab bag. Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, and Christian Slater all give enjoyable performance, but as far as the other performers it can get a little disappointing. A lot of the dialogue features the cast spouting off one-liners from scene to scene which I personally tend to like in these types of movies.

One setback for Bullet to the Head is the managing of the two main characters. Kwon is the by-the-law detective who believes in bringing down the most vicious criminals by taking them in. Bobo operates by his own rules, no women, and no children. Everything else is fair game and he’ll do whatever it takes to bring down anyone who wrongs the people he cares about.

The contrast between their moral codes, though familiar, helped set up interesting conflict between the two throughout the movie. The problem being, neither of them really grow enough as characters by the end. Bobo still sticks to his hard-ass way of doing things, and Kwon still believes in a strict by the book approach, even after the two witnessed first hand either extreme is bound to fail at some point. It doesn’t make them appealing as main characters and left me feeling a little lost as for who I was rooting for throughout the movie. It makes it as though the last hour and half built developing these two was for nothing and it just wasn’t satisfying especially given that the duo worked really well together.

The relationship between Kwon and Bobo is great, but way underdeveloped. Kwon’s sarcastic nature is the perfect contrast to Bobo’s too serious mentality, old school toughness, and brash attitude. Constantly mocking the other, the two form a trust, despite a few bumps in the road, and end up saving each other’s lives from time to time. Aside from the action, the movie’s strong point is any time that these two are riffing off each other on screen. The movie missed a real opportunity here to develop Kwon and Bobo more than they did. It would have given the audience more to invest in and feel for, especially as we watch the conflict come to fruition as the other sticks to their moral stance in the end.

Bullet to the Head will adequately please the action sweet tooth, but aside from that there isn’t much to set it apart from other action movies. Shaky characters, rough script, and a dispensary of one-liners, the movie will struggle to entertain a large audience. Stallone, and Kang work well together but unfortunately their characters are severely underdeveloped and lack any kind of growth to make the end worthwhile.

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2 responses to “Bullet to the Head

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of February 4th | Thinking Cinematic

  2. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of July 15 | Thinking Cinematic

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