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Bullet to the Head

Year: 2012
Production Co: Dark Castle Entertainment
Director: Walter Hill
Writer: Allesandro Cameron
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater

Witness the decline of Stallone: the sequel. Even though he was on top of the world in the 1980s most of his movies were kind of shit (Cobra, anyone?). He blazed hard and hot as Rocky, then went steadily downhill from there, picking woeful projects and figuring his appeal as an action star would keep his poodle in braces and Bridgette Nielsen in jewels.

We got sick of it, ostracising him to the straight-to-video wasteland. Then came The Expendables, which most people loved because it was a return to something we'd loved gleefully in another era. But it didn't take many more movies (The Expendables 2, anyone?) to remind us all that Stallone movies were still essentially shit.

Bullet to the Head is the Cobra for the second phase of his career, a limp and lazy actioner without even enough of a sense of movement to make you forget how corny the tropes are. As hitman James, Sly comes into the orbit of Asian DC cop Taylor (Kang), and it's so obvious the odd couple are going to team up they might as well both be wearing I'm With Stupid T-shirts despite the scripts best attempts to convince you you had no idea they'd become partners.

When his partner's killed by an employer following a job James goes on the warpath, watched by Taylor, who realises they might be after the same crew. Blah blah blah, beautiful daughter captured by the villain, blah blah blah, makes it personal, blah blah blah, warehouse showdown, blah blah blah, monumental fistfights. It's plodding, narratively dull and totally devoid of any of the charisma that makes a good action movie what it is.

Jason Momoa is great as the unhinged minion who becomes a final-level boss (yes, it's structured just like that), but Stallone is snoozing his way through this, seemingly smug in his belief that he can't possibly fall that far again. Quick, Sly, start on the Rocky 23 script!

And Walter Hill, who I understood was some sort of god figure of the action thriller genre, how far hath thee fallen?

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