Clicky

REVIEW: Bullet To The Head (2012) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Bullet To The Head (2012)

Run Time: 92 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: A movie that is somehow even better now than it was then, really!

For some reason I’ve only watched this film once and was going to review it when it came out and when this site first started as a smaller blog but never got around to it.  I watched it again for the second time last week and as much as I liked this movie when it came out, for reasons I’m not 100% sure of, I fucking love it now.  More than ever.  Maybe more than The Expendables and certainly more than de-facto competitor The Last Stand.  I’m telling you, if you haven’t watched this one in a while or worse, not at all, you must fire it up again ASAP.

To recap, the film sees Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone) play a hitman who teams up with cop Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) to go the buddy-cop route to bring down a common enemy.  Among their foes are Christian Slater and Jason Momoa.  But while that’s ostensibly the plot, Walter Hill’s movie is essentially Sylvester Stallone driving around New Orleans murdering, kidnapping and torturing his way to a conclusion of a dilemma.

This movie has a negative reputation across the various ‘meter’ platforms; bad score on IMDb, bad score on RT.  And it was a box office bomb too, which was bad because it was Stallone’s first stand alone test on his comeback outside the ensemble power of The Expendables and sequel/brand power of Rocky and Rambo.  And that was a damn pity, but the trade off is you get a movie that simply gives no fucks.  Gives.  No. Fucks!  Walter Hill’s movie doesn’t care about leotard trends or Xander Cage kitsch… it’s obliviously and happily stuck in 1988.

Jimmy Bobo is a sexist, misogynistic dinosaur, who uses casual racism as a method of hazing and showing acceptance, like it used to be in the old days.  Bobo leaves an improbable trail of bodies laying everywhere, driving around like each latest bloodied corpse is little more than some McDonalds litter he discarded.  The vehicular homicide in particular committed by Stallone early in the film demands a roar of celebration — egregious murder found rarely in a movie this side of 1990.  I can imagine how today’s girlie man critics recoiled in horror as manly bonding and scores being settled with axe fights took precedence over highfalutin nonsense.

Momoa makes a great henchman

Of course there are one or two problems, since few films are perfect.  First, Sung Kang was a poor replacement for the original choice of Thomas Jane.  Kang is such a wooden actor and seems kind of bewildered or uninterested here.  Second, Walter Hill shakes the camera a bit too much in the fight scenes, especially the finale.

But the movie is still amazing, a real anomaly this side of the century.  And since The Expendables series has gone downhill and Schwarzenegger, Willis et al are letting us down, I don’t think we appreciated even then how good this thing is.  I would strongly advise getting drunk and watching this near-classic again.  Soon.  Tonight!

  • Avenging force

    Love this movie Jason momoa give great brooding menace Stallone is shit cool great cameo from Jd /kuffs and the daughter is hot as fuck so 9 out of 10 for me to

  • Jeff

    Always loved this movie. Still rewatch it from time to time. Stallone is my fave.

  • Jake

    Always felt this was a better representation of 80’s action than
    Expendables, simply because it was played relatively straight. It’s the kind of
    low-key action flick you were most likely to find available to rent on a
    saturday night back in the day.

    Agree about Sung Kang being a weak link, but Stallone and Momoa both do a great job of injecting some personality into the film. Stallone in particular has several moments of dry humor that help make Jimmy Bobo a more entertaining character than expected.

  • Mucho Macho

    Hell Yes!!!
    I expressed my love for this movie a few times here in the past and one of the things that I wrote was that to me it’s a movie that got better each time I watched it again. I own the Blu-ray and I’ve already seen it a lot of times cause it’s a very kick ass entertaining movie but sadly I feel the movie it’s underrated by old-school action movie fans.

    Jason Momoa btw kicked fuckin’ ass as the villain. He was a great adversary to Stallone’s character. One thing that I will say about Stallone’s action film career is that he has found good actors to play opposite him in villainous roles and he has managed to have great chemistry with them.

    • Avenging force

      I think you must have fucked Chris whites mum cause that little nerd does not like you or any opinion you have,ohhh mucho loves white well I love black 😀

  • Mucho Macho

    We have a generation of male moviegoers who literally had fucking nightmares and were upset cuz Ben Affleck’s Batman kicked too much ass & killed a few mofos.
    So obviously scenes like these will cause them to have epileptic seizures:
    🔫https://youtu.be/iDIGb_sjrD4

    🔫https://youtu.be/rlzp-YgQLNI

  • ChrisWhite

    A laughable review and a laughable movie. The only thing that saves this movie from a dud is the precence of Jason Momoa and the last fight scene. The rest of the movie is mediocre and this review is a slap on the face to all those great and classic Hong Kong action movies out there who in turn would get a 100 of 10 on your crappy review scale..

  • Andymovieman

    It’s just as good as the last stand, and escape plan. Sly proves he’s still got it same with arnold. Arnold should have been in this movie with sly or jackie chan. Would’ve made the film a lot better. Speaking of Bruce Willis, only movies I enjoyed after expendables 2 with Willis was red 1 and 2, gi joe 2, and looper. Die hard 5 was crap all the way and a fucking letdown.

    • Mucho Macho

      Same here.. the “Red” movies are the only ones that he seemed somewhat alive and not completely bored out of his fucking mind.
      But what do the four films mostly have in common? That they are ensemble movies and a lot of his co-stars did the heavy lifting.

  • French Predator

    100% right, it was like in the good old days, racism was everywhere but not for real, just a way to chill out like the awesome hairdresser scene of Gran Torino, also the black guy being the real bad guy (forbidden today) the brutal action, the absence of romance, the “we’re both professionals” axe fight…I’m proud to have paid the ticket for this one.
    Hill is a fucking killer and his whole filmo is badass.

  • I didn’t like it. Something was a miss with it. I was bored. I remember leaving the theater with a blank stare & let down. I didn’t care for it. Maybe it was the style or something.

    • Mucho Macho

      I left the theater thinking it was just okay and then upon subsequent viewings I’ve come to really love it.
      I also loved Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The Last Stand” which a lot of people did not like either.

      • ChrisWhite

        The Last stand is a pretty decent movie compared to this farce of a movie..

        • Mucho Macho

          I loved it personally. I don’t think it’s Walter Hills nor Stallone’s best movie however it grew on me to the point that I came to love it after originally thinking was just okay.

          “The Last Stand” I really liked from the get go and thought it was a great vehicle for Arnold (the movie originally was supposed to star Liam Neeson by the way) .
          And I also thought this one was not Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best movie however it was a good Arnold movie and didn’t quite share the hatred for it.. Shit “Junior” was a lot worse.

      • I left the theater from The Last Stand loving it!

        I still bought Bullet to the Head on blu ray for some reason hoping I would change my mind & that never happened.

        • Mucho Macho

          I love “The Last Stand” from the get-go. I don’t think it was Arnold’s best movie however I think it was a good Arnold movie and I did not quite understand why so many of his fans think it wasn’t when he had done much worse like “Junior”.

          “Bullet to the Head” grew on me. To me is just one of those movies that you know it’s not the greatest film ever but at the same time one that you end up watching like a million times.

  • John Ashton

    I like this movie a lot, it’s straight to the point, some good action, a solid cast (apart from the Asian cop guy, he’s annoying mostly), and Sly’s end fight is awesome. Was a good time with Sly and Arnie making loads of movies in 2013 / 14.

  • TheOldMcClane

    too bad it’s not Stallone in the new Death Wish film instead of “phone it in” Bruno.

  • ColonelBobi

    I rewatched it a few months back having thought it was OK on first viewing similar to Night. I enjoyed it more second time around, like you said it is unashamedly old school and Momoa makes for a good villain. I also agree the sidekick was the weak sister. Thomas Jane would’ve been much better as the straight man.