Film: "Bullets To The Head"; Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jason Momoa and Christian Slater; Director: Walter Hill; Rating: *1/2
It rains bullets... "Bullets To The Head" is adapted from the French book, "Du Plomb dans la tete".
Set in "The Crescent City", as everyone refers to New Orleans, the film follows James Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone), aka "Jimmy Bobo," a contract killer.
In the first scene itself, he tracks a man to his hotel room and kills him, leaving a prostitute as the sole witness to the crime. This establishes him to be a killer with a conscience and who follows certain principles, which is later reiterated when Bobo says: "It is my town and I do it my way."
A couple of scenes later, Bobo and his partner (Jon Seda) are double-crossed. While Bobo escapes, his partner is killed. Bobo is out to seek revenge.
Meanwhile, a rule-by-the-book detective from Washington D.C. named Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) arrives in town to investigate the murder of his former co-worker. The trail quickly leads to Bobo -- thanks to the help of a ridiculously at-the-ready dispatch operator in his department. Kwon's use of his cell phone to get information becomes a running gag; whether intentional or unintentional, it is funny -- and the two begrudgingly team up to find their common foe.
With dialogues like -- Bobo: "I'll kill you with this piece of apple", Kwon: "How?", Bobo: "By distraction." And another one like; Kwon: "You can't just kill a guy like that!" Bobo: "I just did." -- only goes to show that the repartees are worth a chuckle.
On the performance front, Stallone is waning. In fact, at one point he mocks about his age and energy levels saying, "That'll be the day". Kang is no great actor, but plays the straight man role well enough, basically just there to take insults from Stallone.
Placed against Stallone, Kang has a meek presence; ironically, it is when he is forced into action that his character is at his strongest. The film's eye candy Sarah Shahi, who plays Bobo's daughter and Kwon's love interest, displays competent histrionics.
Usually, in a Walter Hill movie, gunshots sound that extra few decibels louder, blood looks slightly redder, and anyone can die at any time. It's a template he sticks to here, transporting us back to the 1980s. In "Bullets To The Head", Walter Hill's brutal depiction of various bullet-ridden firefights and wall-smashing fisticuffs fully complement Bobo's nearly absurd machismo.
Apart from the incredibly bland story, mismatched buddy film angle, and disappointing action, there is nothing much more to recommend.