Sunday, February 17, 2013

That's kind of a stupid analogy.

As I write this, the NBA All-Star Game is on in the background. As a kid, I absolutely loved the All-Star Game. It was a collection of big stars from my favorite sport putting on an impossibly entertaining show. Even if the game was silly and ultimately meaningless, it was so much fun to watch. No strategy, no defense, just the biggest and best players making shot after shot. And as I look back on those days fondly, now unsurprisingly, it's a different story. Now, I think, this shit is almost unwatchable. There's nothing on the line, no drama at all. Unless you're a pretty hardcore basketball fan, you shouldn't even bother.

After seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback flick a few weeks ago [review], I thought it was only fitting that I check in on my man Sylvester Stallone as well. And while I'll go on record saying that I enjoyed Bullet to the Head more, I think that's faint praise, at best.

Despite the basketball analogy suggesting otherwise, there is some fun to be had with this flick. First, Stallone is still a f--king monster. This guy is sixty-six years old for f--k's sake. Sixty. Six. And when he's not growling at someone, he's beating the shit out of them. Subtlety, thank God, is out the window. Next, we've got a pretty solid villain in New Conan, Jason Momoa. He's a big f--k as well, and has no problem shooting a bitch in the head. And finally, you've got a seriously hot chick (for all of you less-refined gents out there), the beautifully dirty Sarah Shahi. This trio, while you may not care about them, they'll at least hold your interest. Everything else? Well, not so much.

Included in the stuff you likely won't give a damn about, is the story. We've got a typical double/triple-cross, which turns out, goes all the way to Washington! Okay, great. We've also got the buddy-cop aspect, with a dash of the ever popular fish out of water, personified by Sung Kang, who plays the straight cop from out of town. He ends up working with Sly's Jimmy Bobo, a dirtbag hitman with a -surprise!- heart of gold. Ish. One is trying to get answers, the other is trying to get even. And while this dynamic duo has it's moments, it also kind of drags everything down, too.

Speaking of intermittently great partnerships that ultimately ruin everything, here are the Yays and Boos for Stallone's latest. I thought it was just going to be us in the theater, until two middle-aged black women showed up during the last preview. For the record, those fine (though talkative) ladies loved this movie.

Jason Momoa is exactly half Sly's age. And twice his height.
  • Not only do I love the short runtime, this sumbitch gets right to it. I'm pretty sure we get a literal bullet to the head less than two minutes in.
  • Also making a quick appearance, is a titty. Seems director Walter Hill is fully aware of the rules of an (old-school) action movie. Thank you, Mr. Hill. We appreciate it (though all nudity was awkward with two ladies my mom's age sitting behind me, judging). Also thank you for bathtub scene, walking around house with ass-out scene, and any other brief nudity that I may be forgetting, unlikely as that may be.
  • Oh, man. I friggin' loved Young Stallone Mugshots! So awesome. I'm pretty sure we had some First Blood stills right there.
  • Whoa, the initial fight in the bar bathroom was very kick ass. In college, I saw some shitters destroyed in a figurative sense. Here, it's the opposite.
  • So, as I mentioned, The Girl (also known as Future Hostage) is all kinds of sexy. It's slightly uncomfortable that she's playing Sly's daughter. Also slightly uncomfortable? My pants when she's onscreen.
  • I loved Stallone's narration. His voice is so deep and rough, I think you can actually hear the glass he's chewing on. 
  • Speaking of the dialogue, often times it's pretty cringe-worthy (tends to happen with Sly, yeah?). But my favorite line? You had me at 'f--k you'. More than Sly, let's be honest. You had us all.
  • Okay, even though he was in the preview, I was surprised when Christian Slater showed up. And guess what? He kicks all kinds of ass playing the loveable sleazebag that only Slater can. Can we get this guy in some more movies, please? Hard Rain 2, anyone?
  • And finally, you have to give it up for, sing it with me, AXE FIGHT, f--k yeah! Stallone and Momoa deliver a resounding climax with an absurd axe-battle in the ol' abandoned factory level. I think when anybody takes an axe through their foot, true magic happens. Like, somewhere, a unicorn just got its mane.
Now, I'm cool, but you might want to put a bra on when your dad drops by.
  • Any possible twist that may be coming, is telegraphed a mile away. Maybe even two.
  • Do local cops ever welcome outsiders?
  • There's this weird scene in a parking garage that's all grunting and footsteps - no music. Cool, quiet is good sometimes. But when a car suddenly appears Final Destination style and completely eviscerates someone? Well, the odds are, we probably could've heard that coming. Oh well, how mad can I be when a nameless bad guy gets run over? Wait, I know this one. Not very.
  • Whenever it is I finally get shot, I hope that Sarah Shahi takes the bullet out, like she did here. I mean, I probably wouldn't even bleed, you know, with blood rushing elsewhere in the body. And while overall this isn't a Boo, the accompanying mental image certainly is.
  • Massage Parlor Scene! So many things to bitch about here. First, what the f--k is this place? An abandoned YWCA for one? Ridiculous. Second, some bad guy is getting a massage in a room all alone and that's the chick we get? What? a) she's wearing clothes, all of them and b) she's no underground masseuse. At best, she's running the cash register at any bake sale you've ever been to. At. Best. And third, there's no way that guy handles Stallone for as long as he does. No f--king way.
  • The boathouse scene was pretty absurd. Subtle and effective, it wasn't.
  • And while I enjoyed the party scene where women walk around naked for no apparent reason, it might've been slightly too easy to get inside. I mean, they didn't even need a cool password like Fidelio.
  • And finally, while I liked some of the corny ass dialogue, there's something to actually speaking. I swear every single line is shouted, snarled or beaten out of the person delivering it.
Well, the All-Star Game is almost ever, and despite all the hype, I haven't even been paying attention. Die hard fans probably watched, because they always will, but everyone else completely avoided it. Me, I guess I'm kind of in the middle.

And judging by the box-office returns, Bullet to the Head was treated the same way.


  1. There's no way in hell I'd watch this movie, but I always love your reviews. And I can't help but appreciate a script that includes "You had me at f--k you." :-)

    1. Thanks, Steph!

      Yeah, this one was stupid fun, I suppose (at best). Plus, I have an irrational, insatiable man-love for Sly.

  2. "I think when anybody takes an axe through their foot, true magic happens. Like, somewhere, a unicorn just got its mane." - brilliant :)

    I may check it out if I ever do mindless ass kicking films marathon - cannot believe the good form Sly is in, I remember watching Expendables and thinking what he did was freaking impossible.

    Ah, Sarah Shahi - she was in a whole bunch of hot lesbian sex scenes in The L Word :)

    1. You should slum it for awhile, do some real dumbass flicks. If you need ideas, I know a site where that's pretty much all they review.

      Sly is gigantic, muscular freak at a time when he should probably be in worse shape than he was in Cop Land. His body, like this film, is absurd.

      So, what you're saying is...I need to buy The L Word on blu ray immediately? Sounds good. Well, great, actually.

  3. Guess what I'm watching this weekend.

    1. Welp, I'll get ready for your scorn then.

      WAIT. I just re-read this review. I didn't recommend it. I think.

    2. "He's a big f--k as well, and has no problem shooting a bitch in the head"

      that sounded like recommendation :)

    3. I need to watch Conan.

      (And get a 4K TV)

    4. And The Bad Batch. There are no words for the insanity of this one.