With CREED II knocking out the box office this Thanksgiving weekend, and Sylvester Stallone announcing it as his final performance as Rocky Balboa, let us turn back the clock a mere 5 years ago when Stallone was still trying to stoke the 80s action nostalgia as the star of BULLET TO THE HEAD! And while the film may have received Stallone’s worst box office opening since 1981, we here at Awfully Good Movies think that this quickly forgotten Stallone vehicle deserves a little more love. After all, it brought the legendary Walter Hill back into the director’s chair after an 11-year break from the big screen, who echoes his mismatched buddy comedy of 48 HRS. by pairing Stallone as a hard-hearted hitman with Sung Kang, aka Han from the FAST AND FURIOUS movies, as a cop whose former partner just happened to get whacked by Stallone.
But even better, the bad guy that these two are facing down in this movie is Jason Momoa, right in that fragile beginning stage of his career after he had finished his stint on GAME OF THRONES and starred in a CONAN THE BARBARIAN remake no one gave a fuck about. And while he might not be able to talk to fish yet, Mr. Momoa’s character sure can sling a gun and whoop an ass, but that isn’t gonna stop Stallone from showing this young man a thing or two about being an action movie hero. Out of all the recent 80s action throwback movies from old-school action stars--Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis--this flick doesn’t have its tongue too far in its cheek. It’s just wall-to-wall Western-esque gunfights, wisecracking dialogue, and just a dash of Christian Slater to season for taste. Also, it has Rocky Balboa fighting Aquaman with a fucking axe, and it’s moments like that which justify the very existence of cinema.
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