DATELINE: No Name on the Bullet
Cast: Stallone, Shahi, Kang, Hill, Momoa
Bullet to the Head (2012) used to be what we called a “crime meller,” in the old days, but it’s been updated to meet the standards of today’s violence. It’s more of a romp than an art piece.
Sylvester Stallone is about as jacked as a 65-year-old can be, almost looking obscenely fit as he punches out men half his age. He plays a New Orleans hit man, world weary and cynical. One of his first movies was with Robert Mitchum (Farewell, My Lovely) and now Stallone has turned into old Bob Mitchum, which isn’t bad.
The film does play off his age: the attractive woman he seems to be romantic with turns out to be his daughter (Sarah Shahi, the only survivor from Person of Interest).
The film is built on the concept that Stallone teams up with a DC cop (Sung Kang) to find the men who killed their partners. Hmmm, not gay lovers, not wives, the film means their business associates. Jon Seda only seems like Stallone’s love interest.
The villains are a hoot—Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Oz star). But, their henchman with a grudge is even better: it’s Aquaman, Jason Momoa.
Since everyone else in the film is younger than Stallone, he seems to be babysitting rather than acting. He can still deliver an entertaining action adventure film. However, not all was paradise on the production, as Stallone wanted a less dark crime picture which resulted in loss of Thomas Jane as his DC cop buddy. Instead, the producers went for political correctness with a Korean-American cop.
Stallone did uncredited writing—and some of that shines through, as he has always been underrated on that level. He also took final cut away from Walter Hill and made the film truly his own. We wonder why he simply did not direct it.
No matter, the film lost money big-time. Yet, it is an amusing time-passer. We never lost interest.