City Paper is not for tourists
There are lots of bullets to lots of heads in the Sylvester Stallone-led Bullet to the Head. Directed by Walter Hill (2002’s Undisputed—anyone?) and adapted by Alessandro Camon (The Messenger!) from a graphic novel, this firing-squad-disguised-as-a-movie is a thing of moronic lunacy in which Stallone spits out barely intelligible one-liners (“Guns don’t kill people—bullets do.”) and threats (“Touch her and I’ll kill you with a fucking rock!”). It’s 91 minutes during which thinking is not allowed.
Good thing, because if you’re looking for a plot, there’s not much of one, and what story does exist is needlessly complicated. Stallone plays Jimmy Bobo, a lifelong felon who’s now a hitman in New Orleans. When his partner is killed, Jimmy somehow pairs up with a cop, Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang), whose partner is also killed—at least according to the synopsis; random people are dropping all the time here—to find their common enemy, the one-named Keegan (Jason Momoa).
Where Keegan came from and what his problem is are mysteries for the ages. There’s some mention of real estate during an interrogation scene of one Marcus Baptiste (Christian Slater, whose very appearance after a years-long hiatus made about half the theater laugh), whose rapid-fire plot exposition is pure absurdity with an avalanche of details you’ll never catch. When Taylor says, “I think I broke this whole thing wide open!” the proper response is, “What thing?”
It doesn’t matter. This movie exists solely to prove that the 66-year-old Stallone can still kick ass—or that clever editing can make him look as if he can. (It’s probably not a coincidence that his film is opening a week after The Last Stand, starring his partner in geriatric thuggery, Arnold Schwarzenegger.)
Still, dude does look good, and here he fights as often with his fists as with guns and knives, and, in the finale, axes. (“What are we, fucking Vikings?” No tussle is too urgent to interrupt with a joke!) For good measure, a few ridiculous explosions are thrown in, too. (Who doesn’t have his home wired to blow?)
During his grunting opening voiceover, Stallone’s Jimmy intones, “Sometimes you gotta abandon your principles and do what’s right.” You get the feeling that by “principles” the filmmakers mean “standards,” and “do what’s right” is code for buying a ticket to this brainless piece of cinematic doggerel.