In the crowd of 80s style throwback action movies popping up recently, Bullet to the Head is possibly the least known. It’s advertising wasn’t as strong as The Last Stand, and certainly not as strong as A Good Day To Die Hard. And while The Last Stand lost money, that’s nothing compared to this. Its $55 million budget grossed a total of $4.5 million as of writing, which is Stallone’s worst opening weekend in 32 years, and his second worst of all time. Maybe this was due to a lack of any real advertising, or maybe these films just don’t belong in today’s market. Whatever it was, I would not be surprised if it sabotages Stallone’s future career as a whole.
Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone) is a hitman who, after a hit, goes drinking with his partner. However, his partner is killed by Keegan (Jason Momoa) and he only just narrowly escapes from being killed himself. Now he must team up with a cop to find out who did this and why.
It sounds like a typical Stallone buddy film that only has the action as a redeeming feature. The thing is, though, Bullet To The Head is not like that. It actually has a very engaging and well thought out plot. The characters actually go through development and have believable arcs. To see this in a film that could have just passed as an 80s throwback action movie is really refreshing to say the least, and I found myself interested in where the plot would go, which is more than I can say for The Expendables 2.
The acting is also pretty decent. Stallone obviously is just playing Stallone, and yet the character fits perfectly for him. He felt believable as a hitman who was cold and badass, yet did actually care for his daughter and was legitimately hurt and pissed off when his partner got killed. There’s a development late in the film involving his daughter, which unless you want that and pretty much the entire third act spoiled, don’t watch the frankly awful trailer. The cop partner is good too, and while not much time is spent with his character, he still is different by the end, and I really liked how the relationship between Stallone and the cop isn’t how this kind of relationship in movies normally ends up.
Bullet To The Head is a surprise all round. It has a entertaining and engaging story, believable character arcs, some surprisingly well executed drama, and, of course, really great action. Bullet to the Head is, overall, a really great action film, especially when compared to Arnie’s latest offering The Last Stand, which is inferior to this in almost every way. You can see they were trying to make a film you could take seriously, and they pretty much succeeded. The third act is slightly weaker than the first two, as it starts to slip into action movie clichÃ©, but it never truly does, and it’s by no means bad.