BULLET TO THE HEAD (Walter Hill, 2013)
Stallone is already 66. His director, Walter Hill is 71. Despite these ages, both have been able to deliver a gritty enough movie which although cliche-ridden, is satisfying.
Walter Hill is best remembered for his 80s films 48 HRS (and its sequel ANOTHER 48 HRS), THE DRIVER, and the 90s action-packed LAST MAN STANDING starring Bruce Willis. Stallone needs no introduction. Catapulted to stardom with his ROCKY and RAMBO films, Stallone recently made a career resurgence with THE EXPENDABLES and THE EXPENDABLES 2. BULLET TO THE HEAD is the first movie he's made in years where the protagonist is him and him alone, and whether or not it was worth the comeback is up to the fans.
Stallone plays a hitman named Jimmy Bobo, who along with an out-of-town cop (Sung Kang) investigates the death of his partner, and in the process uncovers a big bag of corruption and conspiracy. But Jimmy isn't after the socio-political whatsoever; as what we find out he's driven by cold-blooded revenge.
Okay, to make the hero angrier, let's kidnap his daughter in an old-fashioned formulaic way. You know Stallone will waste every single living thing standing between him and his beloved but estranged daughter (Sarah Shahi). And there is always (and there always should be!) a muscular opponent worthy of Stallone. This comes in the form of Jason Momoa, who looks devilishly handsome here when he's not filled with eyeliner and/or playing a barbarian and a Dothraki lord.
One plot hole too big to ignore just had to be addressed: if the bad guys hired Stallone and his partner (Jon Seda) to whack out a blackmailing cop (Holt McCallany), and have them whacked out after by another gun for hire (Momoa), then why bother in the first place? Jason Momoa could have done the job easily.
The corruption/conspiracy plot thread and the whole vengeance undertone was haphazardly done that it felt fresh out of the recycle bin. The film's saving grace though is the moral consistency of Sung Kang's cop character, and let's face it some of the one-liners are pretty snappy.
The punches feel raw, and this makes BULLET TO THE HEAD still worth the watch. A climactic showdown between Stallone and Momoa where they use axes as weapons is definitely a first for me. Good to know Walter Hill can still make a decent enough action flick.