Monday, February 4, 2013

BULLET TO THE HEAD - a bloody travesty

Stallone, Stallone, Stallone, Stallone. The man never seems to stop growing. If you happen to be a fan of the guy I think you'll find Bullet To The Head a welcome edition to his long action cannon.

Stallone is still a force to be reckoned with. His latest additions to both the Rocky and Rambo franchises were delightful and well made. The two Expendables were mediocre films but fun and entertaining anyway. His latest is more in that vain—glib, ridiculous and goofy but engenders childlike admiration. Speaking from a guys point of view—it makes you want to go out, lift weights, make voicemails that capture your badass apathy, treat humanity with cynicism and disdain as well as punch a few holes in those myriad malevolent craniums. I do not endorse this behavior but one cannot hold back the Cro Magnon male fantasy that arises from time to time. Both Stallone and Swartzenegger have helped a vicarious release of these instinctual feelings in the safest way possible—while sitting down and eating popcorn. Instead of watching Maximus wield his sword from our comfy stadium seat in time immemorial, we now have these larger than life cinematic, gladiatorial heroes. 

I thought at first this movie might be a remake of the great John Woo film from 1990. The Korean actor, Sun Kang, was cast and may have been a reference point but this ended up being a wholly different movie. Walter Hill, the director, has made some excellent action flicks in the past like The Warriors and Last Man Standing. You will see the talent with the action scenes again, but modicum cleverness on the script and acting end. You will certainly enjoy the Rush Hour like wordplay but often it's so daft that you'll find yourself in a constant giggle. The axe wielding Drogo was an appropriate choice as the arch nemesis. The young Stallone, if you will. Cool and entertaining but really for fans only. Oddly, there are two Kubrick references—one mannequin from the Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange and the masked ball event from Eyes Wide Shut. Does anyone know what this was about?

This film seems to be a continuation of stories, lately, that are designed for an aged audience. Plenty of jokes were advanced at Stallone for being old which I find tiresome—but I did realize something. I'm getting older! These are now the actors of my generation that are going to pass away before I do. Despite the poor comparison, men like Pacino, Stallone, Walken, Swartzenegger, and DeNiro are the Burt Lancasters, Kirk Douglases and Sterling Haydens of 20 years ago.

Age catches up to us all—no matter how much you shine.  

I also caught Stand Up Guys in the theater. It had a few welcome moments and great potential to be significant but ultimately missed the mark.  

Recommended Viewing: Last Man Standing - Cliffhanger - Demolition Man

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.0   -   The Fan: 7.0
             MetaCritic: 50
 Rotten Tomatoes: 47
                    IMDB: 6.6

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