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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Sylvester Stallone
Jason Momoa
Christian Slater
Sung Kang.
Directors
Walter Hill.
Screenwriters
Walter Hill
Alessandro Camon.
Running Time
91 minutes

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Bullet To The Head
Over The Hill


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Plot
When his partner is killed after a hit, assassin Jimmy Bobo (Stallone) teams up with a rogue cop (Kang) to hunt down the men responsible, uncovering a major conspiracy.


Review
Bullet To The Head
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Had the stars aligned correctly, Walter Hill and Sylvester Stallone — those giants of ’70s/’80s action cinema — might already have worked together. For both 48 Hrs. and The Driver, Hill came a-knocking, but Stallone passed on both. Sadly, their eventual pairing on Bullet To The Head is so thuddingly average that you might spend half of its running time wistfully thinking of what might have been and the other half giving thanks that it didn’t happen.

This is an unabashed buddy action flick, with Stallone’s ageing hitman, Jimmy Bobo, teaming up with Sung Kang’s straight-arrow cop to hunt down the blah blah blah who’s involved with something about property development. We’re not being glib — the plot is almost totally irrelevant. Corrupt cops, slimy lawyers (Christian Slater in a pity-making, agent-sacking tour de force), unstoppable killers (Jason Momoa, bouncing back from Conan with a nicely nasty turn) and Bobo’s daughter, just ripe for a late-in-the-day kidnapping — we’ve done this dance a dirty dozen times.

So, apart from some weird structural tics (it starts in the middle, a Tarantino tribute ten years too late, with a Stallone voiceover that suggests a fair amount of fixing in post), what we need to set this apart from the pack is a neat seam of wry humour and inventive violence. It doesn’t really deliver on either count — the banter between Stallone and Kang is first-base, and although the title is justified by an astounding number of brain-splats, the violence is perfunctorily staged and lacking in oomph.

Thank God for Stallone, then. With Kang, surprisingly, leaving his Fast Five charisma in the garage, Sly is the best thing about the whole shebang, making the punching and shooting look effortless, while the voice — now so rumbly it could blow a subwoofer at 100 paces — makes even the worst dialogue sound like it’s been in the pan for three minutes. But this is not classic Stallone, and it’s far from classic Hill — the menace and tension that the great director captured in movies like The Warriors, Southern Comfort and 48 Hrs. is sadly missing here. It doesn’t even hit the heights of Red Heat — and when you’re crying out for Jim Belushi to enliven proceedings, something’s seriously awry.


Verdict
Fun in parts, and Stallone’s always watchable, but it’s an ’80s tribute movie that coasts along on rapidly diminishing goodwill. Beige Heat, if you will.


Reviewed by Chris Hewitt

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Bullet To The Head
Empire Star Rating

RE: Frying pan to the face.

As unsubtle as its title, this action film is repetitive and packed with silly cliches that should be put to sleep. ... More

Posted by chang at 11:59, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Frying pan to the face.

Probably the most '80s-ish' of the recent 80s homages (I use that word very lightly) and, although this isn't paying it much credit, I thought this was better than The Expendables and a LOT better than The Last Stand. It's still pretty flat, derivative, lazy and forgettable, but 25 years ago would probably have been a big hit buddy-buddy film. It does take itself very seriously. The unexpected high point (again, take this phrase with a pinch) was Jason Momoa as an almost charismatic v... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 10:48, 30 September 2013 | Report This Post


Frying pan to the face.

There seems to be some perfect-storm of sloppy acting, writing and direction stopping Bullet To The Head from being quite as throw-away-enjoyable as it should be. It struggles bravely, but ultimately just becomes throw-away. I suspect the comic version was a lot more entertaining. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:36, 18 September 2013 | Report This Post


THE BIG WHEEEZE.......

Another creaking effort from another cinematic old warhorse. Bullet to the Head isn’t so much a film as 90 odd minutes of every Hollywood buddy buddy/action movie cliché that’s ever been seen, filmed or written - with some odd pacing and a droll Stallone voice-over doing very little to paper over the cracks. Jason Mamoa makes some impression as a hulking, homicidal henchman and I’m sure I saw Christian Slater in there somewhere getting his just deserts, but all the rest i... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:20, 17 June 2013 | Report This Post


THE BIG WHEEEZE.......

Another creaking effort from another cinematic old warhorse. Bullet to the Head isn’t so much a film as 90 odd minutes of every Hollywood buddy buddy/action movie cliché that’s ever been seen, filmed or written - with some odd pacing and a droll Stallone voice-over doing very little to paper over the cracks. Jason Mamoa makes some impression as a hulking, homicidal henchman and I’m sure I saw Christian Slater in there somewhere getting his just deserts, but all the rest i... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:20, 17 June 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Oh dear

Despite taking itself far too seriously in places, this turned out to be a fairly enjoyable – if instantly forgettable – action romp. It definitely had its flaws though, from the horrendously one-dimensional supporting cast to the fairly bland, by-the-numbers plot. That said, Stallone's chemistry with co-star Kang was pretty impressive, and some of their back-and-forth banter – particularly the jibes about Kang's heritage – were the highlight of the movie for me. Momoa made a pretty wa... More

Posted by CeejSays at 22:16, 07 February 2013 | Report This Post


Oh dear

And Walter Hill made such great films once,,,,this is dull and lazy film making. Sly lumbers around being a cock while generating no cinematic connection with his cop partner. Interesting to have this released so near to Arnie's latest which knew far better what is was doing. This is , however, a great reminder of the days when films like this went straight to video! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 21:33, 07 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

90 minutes of Sylvester Stallone saying "Fuck you I know everything," and then acting like a grumpy idiot. ... More

Posted by Hood_Man at 20:14, 07 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

In New Orleans, hitman Jimmy Bobo and his partner Louis Blanchard eliminate a corrupt policeman, Hank Greely, but soon afterwards Blanchard is murdered by Keegan, who escapes from Bobo. Detective Taylor Kwon arrives in New Orleans to investigate Greely’s death and soon finds himself on Bobo’s trail. Kwon and Bobo meet in a bar, then Bobo saves Kwon from some corrupt cops who are in the pay of crooked lawyer Robert Morel. He takes him to a tattoo parlor, where Bobo’s daughter, Lisa, treats Kwon’... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 18:59, 03 February 2013 | Report This Post


Awful

World's worst cop teams up with Sly Stallone's mum to avenge the death of his mate. Yawn. Dreadful bluesy soundtrack. Tasteless violence. Rubbish action. Bad guy is like a fatter Thor but with a permanent scowl. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 17:44, 03 February 2013 | Report This Post


Sly Assassin

You could argue that Bullet To The Head completes Stallone's hitman trilogy (the other two being The Specialist and Assassins.) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BenTramer at 11:52, 28 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Bullet To The Head

I'd call it an anti-shit movie agenda, of which Stallone just happens to be a part of a startling amount. ... More

Posted by AxlReznor at 17:14, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Bullet To The Head

Empire has a Stallone agenda? ... More

Posted by OPEN YOUR EYES at 17:11, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Bullet To The Head

Further evidence of Empire's anti Stallone agenda... ... More

Posted by Harry Tuttle at 17:00, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Bullet To The Head

This is going to go over well with a certain someone. ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 16:37, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post


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