Bullet to the Head
Commendable attempt to reset Stallone persona in more down-to-earth cop thriller
Returning as the prodigal son of the hard-boiled thriller, director Walter Hill’s first film in ten years is a tough-guy vehicle for Sylvester Stallone. While the star’s recent output has been verging on self-parody in the Rocky, Rambo and Expendables franchises, Bullet to the Head commendably attempts to reset his larger-than-life persona in a more down-to-earth cop thriller.
Stallone plays New Orleans hitman Jimmy Bobo whose partner is stabbed to death after they execute a ruthless mobster in his hotel room. He teams up with cop Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang), a Korean technology wonk who uses his phone as a source of information; Stallone instead uses his as something to hit people with. Together, the mismatched duo investigate a complex gangland feud which leads to a trail of corruption involving Christian Slater as a seedy politician, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as a criminal mastermind, and muscle-man Jason Momoa as a well-appointed henchman.
While Bullet to the Head’s predictable plotting and low-brow aspirations never reach the heights of Hill’s streak of brilliant thrillers in the late 70s and early 80s (such as The Driver, The Warriors, and Southern Comfort), it’s still a welcome return from one of the genre’s acknowledged masters.
General release from Fri 1 Feb.