DVD Shopping Bag: Bullet to the Head Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Source: Mania.com

I didn’t catch Bullet to the Head in theaters last February. In actuality, I haven’t seen a Stallone film in the theater since I saw the Expendables back in 2010. I admire Sly for finding a niche again, but Expendables 2 warranted only a home screening (see column). I decided to give Sly the benefit of the doubt and a chance on a project he was only acting in, not writing nor directing. So, I cracked open a beer and sat down for a guys’ movie night. 

Bullet to the Head is based on Alexis Nolent's French graphic novel, “Du Plomb Dans La Tete”.  The story is about a New Orleans hit man (Stallone) and a DC cop (Sung Kang) who team up to bring down the killers of their partners. We see the story from Stallone’s James Bonomo’s point of view. It has some voice over narration that allows us into his character. Granted, the last thing we really want is Sly’s slurring, but it works for the film. 

We witness Bonomo and his partner, Louie (Jon Seda), take out their hit. It goes alright, but far from textbook. Of course, the first rule in an assassination is to take out the assassins and Bonomo and Louie meet up with Keegan (Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa). Keegan makes quick work of Louie and Bonomo is left empty handed. 

Enter DC Detective, Taylor Kwon (Kang). While working the local channels and police department for leads to his partner’s murder, Kwon gets in over his head, a fairly obvious fact as two police officers try and take Kwon out. If not for the intervention of Bonomo, Kwon would be dead. The two men strike up an unlikely alliance and go on journey that should be ripe with two very different sides of a detective story. However, it is that storytelling failure and bad chemistry that quickly make Bullet to the Head live up to its name. 

What is surprising is how badly the dialogue is delivered. Sung Kang really seems out of his element as the straight man in this odd duo. Sure, Sly can deliver his lines on the mark, but Kang walks this strange line between ambivalence and offensiveness that never really lets the audience into his character. At one point, he corrects Sly’s Bonomo that he is Korean and not Japanese. He then makes an analogy that calling a Korean a Samurai is like calling tacos Italian food. This might move the scene along, but outside of their racial difference, there really is nothing for these characters to talk about. 

Screenwriter Alessandro Camon should have made Kwon a native Korean Cop who came to New Orleans and not an American Cop with Korean heritage. The fish-out-of-water story usually works, but here is just flounders with bad racial slurs and horrible chemistry between these two actors. A Cop and a Hitman try and solve a murder should have been more than enough. Instead, we are left wondering why these actors and why these writing choices. 

Bullet to the Head is not as terrible on a whole as I made it sound. It’s just that after it is over, you wonder what the point was. I could have watched Shanghai Noon or Rush Hour and have been, at least, entertained. Here, I felt someone made a movie to satisfy some union quotas. 
 
Own Bullet to the Head on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital Download 7/16.

 

 

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4. Black Sabbath: Standard Edition Remastered [Blu-ray]
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COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

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Criterion Collection

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Evil Dead

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