Review: Bullet Head

Bullet Head
7 10

PLOT: Three low-level criminals (Adrien Brody, John Malkovich & Rory Culkin) find themselves trapped in a warehouse with a deadly fight dog named De Niro.

REVIEW: As far as DTV crime thrillers go, BULLET HEAD, which once had the far more appropriate title DE NIRO, isn’t half bad. From writer-directed Paul Solet, whose indie horror flick GRACE played to generally good reviews back in 2009, this isn’t especially original but it does its job well enough. Proudly wearing the Quentin Tarantino influence on its sleeve, specifically RESERVOIR DOGS with the small cast and warehouse setting, BULLET HEAD moves pretty quickly and offers star Adrien Brody one of his better lead parts in a while, with him contributing a low-key performance that suits the material.

It also has a nifty animal rights twist, with much of the film being an indictment of violence against them. The big bad pooch isn’t so much bad as he’s a product of his environment. Raised by Antonio Banderas’s sadistic gangster to be a killer, he can help but want to maul our three anti-heroes to death, but Solet treats the subject with enough sensitivity that this never becomes a CUJO clone. There are moments of genuine empathy sprinkled in here and there, along with the requisite genre beats.

Solet maybe takes the Tarantino homage a little too far with the numerous flashbacks, some of which are meant to be funny but adopt the exact same style as QT did when Tim Roth told his pot story in RESERVOIR DOGS. Oh well, if you’re going to steal, steal from the best – and I did like the way some of the stories gave us some insight into why the men would be predisposed to have some sympathy for the dog – even if he’s trying to eat them. One story in particular, where the young hotheaded addict, played by Rory Culkin, remembers his father’s cruelty to his beloved pet is especially tough, and should strike a nerve for all animal lovers.

All of the leads play to form, with Malkovich the seen-it-all vet who wants to retire, while Culkin is young and hooked on smack, while the troubled Brody falls somewhere in between. Banderas is the only all-out bad guy, gleefully ramping up the sadism, and his inevitable comeuppance is sweet when it happens. All the while, Brody, as our defacto lead, is more personable than he’s been in a while – which says something as I find he has the tendency to chew scenery.

While the low-budget means some dodgy dog CGI in the rougher (ruff-er) scenes, this couldn’t really been avoided it, and Solet’s given the movie some real flair. Good bits include a setpiece where Brody uses a piano to hide on and fight the dog – and the empathy he feels for the beast is nicely conveyed. As far as these things go, BULLET HEAD isn’t bad at all, although it’s far more serious and less gonzo than the promos might have you believe.

Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Featured Youtube Videos