Monday, 11 February 2013
REVIEW: BULLET TO THE HEAD
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Jason Moma & Christian Slater. Director: Walter Hill.
Who said Sylvester Stallone was expendable? Right now the 90's action star is on a hot streak with his fellow ageing muscle bound action heroes with no signs of sagging. After his popular and welcoming 'Expendables' franchise brought every action star back in the game...with signs of adding more (Cage, Ford, Eastwood and Chan look set for the third one...can I get a Segal), Sly is back with a 'Bullet To The Head'. A top shooting film that should really be watched, back-to-back, grindhouse style with Arnies 'The Last Stand', just like those good ole, movie guy nights.
Of course 'Bullet To The Head's' formula is simple. Hitmen, revenge a little bit of male emotion, mixed with a hell of a lot of tetesterone and even more left over shell-casings. Yet, Stallone knows how to tell a simple story well and is really flexing his filmmaking talents. Well paced, exciting and far-fetched but still a popcorn movie that doesn't throw the stick too far for the dog. It's well done and set, in the classic city of New Orleans perfectly, with a classic soundtrack to jukebox. This is a good time, good ole days affair from a man who refuses to change...or age with the times.
And why should he, punching and mumbling his way through this one, Stallone's still got it and is Sly with his cunning ways. He also knows how to bring in the co-stars too. Stepping out of the toy cars of the high-octane 'Fast & Furious' franchise for a second, Sung Kang shows he really is one of the hottest, young actors of the moment. Cop this, between suiting up sharply and kicking ass in a parking lot, the nice guy turned good plays a detetcive with Hollywood veteran force. He's no rookie here. With great chemistry this is no cliche joke. This is the next buddy cop picture...except one of them is a hitmen. You get the idea. Teaming up for the same goal, this pair scores.
The rest of the cast are great too, even in limited screen time. From the known (Christian Slater) to the less known (Sarah Shahi), everyone makes their name. The villian of this piece is big and bold too, as Jason Moma steps out the 'Stargate' and shows Stallone a real formidable foe swinging an axe and hammering down his hammed up part perfectly. What is he a viking? Now sure this is not a thinking mans movie. You could probably take a shot to the head and still keep up with this one, but anyone who's quick to criticise Stallone doesn't know his work. It's not Shakespeare. It's pure adrenaline, pumping movie escapism, with a little bit of heart too. Right now, when it comes to films like this...no one does it better than Sly. TIM DAVID HARVEY.