They don’t make ’em like this anymore, sadly. Nowadays it’s all jump cuts and “How much stuff can we blow up?” without even focusing on a coherent plot. And while Bullet To the Head won’t be in any Oscar races, it is still a good bit of old-time action.
Sylvester Stallone plays James Bonomo, a New Orleans hit man who goes on a job with his partner Louis Blanchard (Jon Seda) for an unknown client only to be attacked in a bar later on, and Blanchard is killed. Looking for revenge, James reluctantly teams up with visiting D.C. Detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) who is investigating a case that ties to Blanchard’s death. Both men soon realize just how far up the food chain this thing goes, and are fighting for their lives.
Along the way they encounter an interesting cast of characters, most notably Jason Momoa as an ex-military assassin, whose climactic fight scene with Sly featuring firefighters’ axes is pure old-school action junkie fun. Christian Slater shows up as a weaselly attorney and quite frankly, from the moment he entered the picture I couldn’t wait for him to die. I can’t stand him, never could.
Sarah Shahi is James’ daughter Lisa, a tattoo artist who occasionally patches up wounds as we see early on in the film, and as usual, she’s great. Invariably she gets taken hostage by the baddies, who are largely made up of corrupt cops, because, in an old-time action movie that’s what happens. And that’s not a knock, by any means.
Overall, Bullet To the Head was a fun, 91-minute action/buddy movie that featured the reluctant partnership, good back and forth between Stallone and Kang, plenty of killing, and it got director Walter Hill out of retirement, at least for now.