Review~ Insipid Louisiana Corruption, Hitmen & Cops Fire Up Stallone In A Risky Adventure; Bullet to the Head

Bullet to the Head, with Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Mamoa & Sarah Shahi.  Director, Walter Hill.  Always being so so about Stallone, I left the theater liking him better than any other time in his career.  I should have known, in advance, that he wouldn’t have picked a lemon at this stage.  All the elements of an acceptable shoot-em-up were in place, complete with explosions & bullets to the forehead.

Stallone, for me personally, depicted the penultimate older predator that’s still powerful, perhaps even more so than in his younger years; with this portrayal of an older hitman, more than competent at his job.  The camera lens was kind enough to him, a feat in & of itself & his bearing evoked over-the-top power & masculinity.  Fine words, coming from me, who would usually be on the floor laughing hysterically at excessive machismo.  He’s definitely not discussing a flower arrangement in this film.  Nor is he discussing his feelings at a bridge party.

Of course, any film setting in Louisiana is going to involve corrupt cops combined with those that have soiled them.  Nothing new in this, or the film.  Though the cinematographer seemed overly concerned with close-ups of streets, cars, walls & guns; I think we are relied upon to fill in the rest.  We’ve all gotten our fill & more of New Orleans & Baton Rouge since storm Katrina.  Therefore, what we see is all too familiar & it’s all about Stallone & Kang.  Their interactions & conflicts, as well as fighting off the bad guys.

Kang is a breath of fresh air, handsome & capable, though not necessarily the best emotive actor you’ll ever see.  At least, the director held off on the Kung Foo fighting.  Which would have been a bit too much with all the punching thugs.  As above, it’s all about these two characters.  The mentor & reluctant victim, dragged along to a fight.

Mamoa also isn’t playing Hamlet, but makes a fine semi-psychotic.

I recommend this film, not because it’s a superb action motion picture (it’s not); but because it’s Stallone.  Though he’s not A-list anymore, we all want to watch him.  As long as he can still move his arms & legs.

A parade of oafs can be something to pass the time.  Stallone is a great opening act for the year’s upcoming blockbusters & dramas.