Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Warner – 96 min – 2013 – Rated R -1080p – 1.85:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 5.1 Audio – DVD – Ultraviolet

Sylvester Stallone will go down in history as the king of the action genre, and even well into his 60’s he’s still kicking ass. With the success of the two Expendables movies, audiences have become nostalgic to the grand old times of the 80’s where action heroes were all muscle and bullets. Stallone’s most recent film, Bullet to the Head is a throwback to those days where the plot is not as important as the action, and having pioneer action director Walter Hill in the driver’s seat makes the ride even crazier. Bullet in the Head arrives on Blu-ray from Warner, and if you’re a Stallone fan you know what you’re getting yourself into.


Stallone plays Jimmy Bobo a New Orleans hitman, who is out for revenge when he and his partner Blanchard (Jon Seda) are set-up by their employer during a job gone bad resulting in Blanchard’s death. Having no other choice, Bobo must team up with a street detective named Kwan (Sung Kang) to hunt his partner’s killer, a ruthless maniac called Keegan (Jason Momoa). When Bobo learns that his daughter has been kidnapped, the situation goes from bad to deadly as Bobo leaves a pile of bodies behind to settle the score.

The film is loosely based on the French graphic novel ‘Du plomb dans la tete’ by Alexis Nolent, but just because it has a French origin, the on screen result is total American carnage. Walter Hill directed one of the premiere buddy action films of the 80’s with the Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte classic 48 Hours. He attempts to tap on that buddy film button with Stallone and Kang, but even though there are a few good moments. The two don’t have the on screen chemistry needed to make it work. Knowing this, the focus of the film goes to the action scenes, and here there are plenty.

The violence is a cross between hardcore 80’s action and 90’s Hong Kong action, and when it works it works well, taking your mind off of everything else that is wrong with the movie. Jason Momoa is having fun as the big bad villain, and pitting him against Stallone in an axe fight is the cherry on top. For a guy in his mid 60’s, Stallone’s body is diesel, almost like a character from a Sin City comic. Unlike most older action heroes, he still looks convincing in a fight, and even when taking on someone much bigger than him like Momoa, you get that Rocky vs. Drago adrenaline rush.

Bullet to the Head is for guys who grew up watching Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Norris and Willis movies, and almost crapped their pants when they learned that all of these guys were going to be together in a movie. This latest stand alone Stallone film fizzled at the box office, but fans of the genre watching this at home may get more a kick out of it. Maybe Stallone and Walter Hill could work together on a better project in the future, because with the right script and their dedication to the action genre, it could be like opening a can of whoop-ass.


With a 1080p image in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Bullet to the head has a great gritty look, emulating a cross between a graphic novel and an 80’s action film. Details are sharp and the sweat can be seen glistening off of everyone. Stallone’s veins that cover his muscular upper body are three dimensional, and the lines on his face are hard not to notice, but hey after 30 plus years in the industry, he’s earned them. Colors are muted, but this is purposely done to match the tone of the film. Overall, this is nice a solid transfer that will not disappoint.


The film makes good use of its DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, and if you have a home theater set-up you will get the most out of it. Dialogue is clean, but the action sounds of gunfire, car chases, glass breaking and axes clanging are the real star of the show. This film will give your rear speakers a workout and make your subwoofer bounce across the floor, but that’s the experience you want when you watch a film like this.


Unfortunately there is only one bonus feature offered, which is a total letdown. ‘Mayhem Inc.’ is barely ten minutes long and only scratches the surface about the making of the film.


Bullet in the Head is for a target audience; primarily Stallone’s action fans from the 80’s and 90’s. The Blu-ray itself offers a solid video transfer and ear shattering sound, but the bonus features are anemic. It is recommended that you rent this one first to check it out, but if you’re a hardcore fan, it’s a buy.

SCORES (Out of 5):

The Movie: 2.5

Video: 4.0

Sound: 4.5

Extras: 2.0

Bottom Line: 3.0