February 6, 2013

Movie Review: Bullet to the Head (2013)

On the surface, Bullet to the Head is a movie that probably shouldn't work. A mismatched buddy cop comedy that is an eighties throwback starring an aging action hero whose time was thought to have faded years ago. The thing of it is, the Walter Hill directed actioner is very entertaining, deliciously violent, and lives in that wonderfully grey area between good and bad where morality is always questionable.

If you look at the desired outcome the bad guy wants, the movie is pretty silly. The crazy plot involves buying up real estate and chasing off those who live there in order to build condos and shopping centers. Pretty evil, right? Despite this, the movie works because it is not about the evildoers nefarious plot. Sure, they could have given him a bit more interesting of a plan, but who cares? I mean it's not like that is what we are meant to pay attention to.

Bullet to the Head follows Jimmy Bobo (Sly Stallone), hitman. He and his partner, Louis (Jon Seda), perform a hit on some unsavory fellow that turns out to be a setup. When they go to collect payment, the guy doesn't show up and Louis ends up dead, murdered by some muscle bound mercenary named Keegan (Jason Momoa). Well, in short order, the cops are searching for Jimmy and Jimmy is teaming with a cop, Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang).

I don't really want to talk about the plot, but it did work for me in a sort of throwback fashion. What I liked was how everything plays out in a stripped down fashion, the only elements that remain are the plot points, the jokes, and the action. This is a movie that plays fast and loose with details, more content to allow these characters be defined by the immediate actions they take, they do not waste time to develop them, there is no need.

I love how none of the characters are presented as superheroes. I am sure there was a desire to show Sly as the super hitman who could not be caught or hurt, instead he is a a man who has been shot, can be hurt, and has been arrested dozens of times. He may be good, but he is far from perfect. He lives in a world of grey, he has his rules and sticks to them. He is a surly, sarcastic fellow who follows through and it is a blast to watch him do his thing.

I also liked the character of Keegan. Jason Momoa must be using Dwayne Johnson's trainer, the guy is huge. He is an interesting character, a mercenary who believes in a twisted sense of honor. I liked the surprising direction his arc takes towards the end, it is not every day you see a bad guy go down the road.

Bullet to the Head is not for everyone, I do not believe it was ever intended to be. With that said, there is definitely something about it that I really like. It as an old school sensibility that does not believe in political correctness. It tells it's story without need of message or depth.

This is a movie to enjoy, laugh at the bad jokes, get down with the fisticuffs and bloodshed. It is what it is and that is all I want it to be.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment