Bullet to the Head (2012) Blu-ray Review: Stallone Takes Us Back to the Past. Again.

Think of it as enjoyably brainless entertainment.
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When I first saw some sort of shrapnel about Sylvester Stallone being in a film entitled Bullet to the Head, I immediately figured the American film industry had stooped so low as to attempt to remake a John Woo film. Again. I thought for sure we were all set to return to the world of '90s action films - which, needless to say, did not pump the caffeine-riddled sludge passing itself off as blood in my veins. Thus, you can imagine my delight once I realized that Bullet to the Head was indeed not a reboot of the 1990 Hong Kong mini-masterpiece - a sensation of alleviation that promptly escalated once I discovered this Stallone flick was actually an adaptation of a French graphic novel.

Further feelings developed when I saw the director attached to Bullet to the Head was none other than Walter Hill, the man who not only brought us The Warriors, but also helmed the '80s action classics, 48 Hours and Red Heat. Not coincidentally enough, I'm sure, Bullet to the Head has that very familiar '80s action/comedy flick vibe to it. For starters, the film - set in New Orleans - follows the brief plight of an unlikely pairing of fellows. One, the aptly named Jimmy Bobo (that Sly guy himself) is a hitman who has recently been betrayed by his unknown handlers. The other man - Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) - is a detective from Washington D.C. trying to track down the very man he winds up temporarily "partnered" with.

Still green in the gills, Kwon makes the mistake of trusting his own people (police, not Koreans) - an oversight in his own fidelity to justice that almost gets him killed several times over. Fortunately, that shadowy assassin with the distinctive voice who really hates cops has taken it upon himself to rescue to the poor guy - just so he can buy him a clue if nothing else.

Together, this dynamic duo of brains and brawn manage to do that one thing many an individual that has ever had the misfortune of seeing Kuffs, Guns, Girls and Gambling, or that disaster Playback (which earned a whopping $264 in ticket sales during its one-week, one-screen venue in 2012) has wanted to do for so long: they go after Christian Slater. Actually, Slater (at his sleazy best here) is just a rung in the ladder of conspiracy behind the perfidy our top-billed action star has endured - the ultimate brain behind Team Bad is none other than rising B-Movie star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Jason Momoa is the cold-blooded killer hot on the scent of Stallone (and his onscreen daughter, Sarah Shahi) - which leads to one of those epic mano a mano battle between the film's biggest titans.

For the Blu-ray release of Bullet to the Head, the folks at Warner went to every extent to prevent this one from looking like the non-A-List title that it truly is: witness the plain, generic menu and the single behind-the-scenes featurette that doesn't even hit the 10min mark. Oh, well, eh? The 1080p/AVC transfer for this one gives us the film in a decent (but not exactly pristine) presentation, which preserves the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The feature's color palette isn't a "Taste the Rainbow" experience, as the movie's rather dark tone doesn't have any room for bright sunny cheerfulness. Audio-wise, the disc sports a walloping DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack.

Like I said, it's basically just another '80s B-Movie action flick with Sylvester Stallone. And that's a good thing. Sure, it's no Tango and Cash, but this will have to do until Sly and Kurt Russell team up once more.

Think of it as enjoyably brainless entertainment.

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