"Are we gonna fight or are you planning on boring me to death?"
The tagline for this film claims that "Revenge never gets old," but Bullet to the Head seems to prove the contrary. The film feels extremely old, overdone, formulaic, generic, and full of cheesy dialogues and senseless violence. The greatest problem with it is that it takes itself so seriously that it is just pain inducing. I have great respect for Sylvester Stallone and director Walter Hill because I grew up in the 80's loving most of their films. This film, however didn't even touch my nostalgic chords and I couldn't help but feel completely bored with it. It's a tiresome film because there aren't credible action scenes, likable characters, or believable situations. The film might have been better if they took the classic buddy cop comedy formula and let Sung Kang (who is really likable in The Fast and the Furious sequels) play off Stallone, but instead they just tried to look serious and cool all the time. The script (written by Alessandro Camon who doesn't even come close here to the success he achieved with The Messenger) was terribly adapted from a graphic novel and some of the dialogue here literally hurt my ears. The film is just an excuse to jump from one action scene to the next without making much sense. Believe me, when you see Bullet to the Head you will be convinced that, yes, even revenge can get old, and so do its stars.
I will try to be as brief as possible with the plot summary. James (Sylvester Stallone) and his partner Louis (Jon Seda) are hit men working in New Orleans. After their latest hit they are set up and Louis is killed by a man named Keegan (Jason Momoa). James escapes and decides to avenge his partner's death, but along the way he teams up with a DC detective named Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) who is also looking for the same men that have set James up. Realizing that they can help each other out they begin searching for their common enemy as they climb the corporate ladder along the way. Sarah Shahi plays Stallone's daughter, while Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje play supporting roles as the villains.
The main issue with this film is that it has a weak story. There is nothing that the cast can do to save this movie because the action scenes alone aren't enough to make this an enjoyable experience. There isn't even a strong enough transition from one scene to the next. This is just a formulaic and generic film that one would expect to find in a straight to dvd movie. None of the characters here are likable and there is no charm to this film. It doesn't have any clever twists or anything to say; it is just a straight up action film with nothing new to offer. It's as if they would have found this film in the 80's and decided to premiere it now. It's 90 minutes of complete dullness. The only thing that could have saved this film was if Stallone decided to make fun of the material (kind of the way Arnold did in The Last Stand), but he takes himself too seriously. This is as formulaic of an action macho flick as most romantic chick flicks are. It might appeal to straightforward action fans, but I surely didn't have fun with it. Maybe I'm just not macho enough.