Bullet to the Head Blu-ray Review
I’m a fan of comic book movies. In fact, you might say I’m a HUGE fan of them. But it seems the trend of adapting positively-received comics might be finally starting to run its course. The past few years we’ve been under siege with both great adaptations (way to go Mr. Whedon, THE AVENGERS is the quintessential action/comedy/comic book flick) and the incredibly mediocre (All the good comic book movies, step forward… Not so fast JONAH HEX, PRIEST, and THE LOSERS.) But through it all I manage to be generally entertained. You may or may not know that BULLET TO THE HEAD is a recent comic book movie to hit Blu-ray, but even more surprising to me was finding out that the movie, while not very good, IS actually vaguely entertaining.
BULLET TO THE HEAD is about a criminal/hit man Jimmy Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone, THE EXPENDABLES) and a cop (Sung Kang, FAST & FURIOUS 6) named Taylor Kwon. Kwon is a policeman from D.C. informally investigating the death of his former partner. Bonomo is looking for vengeance after he and his partner were double-crossed, shortly after they committed the very homicide Kwon is investigating. True to Hollywood, it takes about 10 seconds for Kwon to locate and contact Bonomo, but he isn’t interested in Jimmy; he wants to know how to find the people responsible. Naturally, these two men from opposite sides decide to team up to find the people responsible but thankfully this is where the fun (e.g. bullets and brawn flying through the air) begins.
Featuring action stars like Stallone and the phenomenal Jason Mamoa (CONAN THE BARBARIAN and GAME OF THRONES) – and I refuse to list Sung Kang here – I expected this movie to deliver on the action and very little else. From that perspective BULLET TO THE HEAD is more than mildly amusing. But from the perspective of being a revered French comicbook Du plomb dans la tête (Headshot), BULLET TO THE HEAD is a little bit heavy on the dialogue and story, to the detriment of the viewer. This isn’t Shakespeare, and it shouldn’t be presented as such…
The potent voiceover by Stallone (who should NEVER DO VOICE WORK) adds an aura of seriousness this movie sorely needed to avoid. Primarily this narration serves as exposition which makes it ever less worthwhile. I’m assuming the narration is a natural consequence of the fact that it is a comic book adaptation – I am sure the comic used these types of monologues – but it doesn’t play well on screen if it doesn’t feel organic. And I’m sure it’s surprising to no one, nothing Stallone does is organic.
BULLET TO THE HEAD could have been a really great, fun action movie. In the end the flick just takes itself too seriously without having the proper acting talent to be able to carry a movie of this size. A good example is Jason Mamoa – he plays essentially the same character he’s played in both GAME OF THRONES and CONAN (click to see the reviews), but I really, truly believe he has more to give than the chances he has taken. None of this matters though, because in the end BULLET TO THE HEAD comes off as an over-stylized Stallone vehicle without many other redeeming qualities. I’d avoid this one unless you’re really into action dramas and don’t mind the kind of cardboard acting presented here.
BULLET TO THE HEAD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1.85:1) The video is stylized but not overdone, which is a welcome feature of BULLET TO THE HEAD.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is also very well done on BULLET TO THE HEAD. It is immersive and the mixing is well done making dialogue and action easy to hear.
BULLET TO THE HEAD: MAYHEM, INC. (09:21) I’m less than pleased with this. As the sole feature I would have liked to see a little more effort given. Instead, BULLET TO THE HEAD features only this incredibly mediocre special feature. It’s a big bowl of fine.
BULLET TO THE HEAD also comes with an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film. I’m a fan of the releases that include BOTH an iTunes/other digital copy AND an UltraViolet… I’m not sure why they don’t all do it that way – but as a collector just having them in ‘the cloud’ doesn’t feel like ownership to me.