As regular readers know, I’m a long-time fan of Stallone. I love his movies. I love his dedication to fitness. I love that after everyone said his career was down for the count he found a way to get back up and show the world there was still a lot of fight left inside him; The Expendables and its sequel were both worthy additions to the man’s body of work.
And so, it pains me to have to take him to task for making his call for stricter gun control measures the very same weekend that ‘Bullet to the Head’ hits theaters.
Sylvester Stallone says that despite his “Rambo” image and new shoot-em-up film “Bullet to the Head,” he’s in favor of new national gun control legislation.
Stallone supported the 1994 “Brady bill” that included a now-expired ban on assault weapons, and hopes that ban can be reinstated.
“I know people get (upset) and go, ‘They’re going to take away the assault weapon.’ Who … needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you’re carrying out an assault. … You can’t hunt with it. … Who’s going to attack your house, a (expletive) army?”
The 66-year-old actor, writer and director said he also hopes for an additional focus on mental health to prevent future mass shootings.
“It’s unbelievably horrible, what’s happened. I think the biggest problem, seriously, is not so much guns. It’s that every one of these people that have done these things in the past 30 years are friggin’ crazy.
Remember when Stallone was killing guys in ‘The Expendables’ with a Single Action Army? I do. Should we ban those? But I digress.
During the course of ‘Bullet to the Head‘ I counted 28 dead bodies by the time all was said and done. I may be off by one or two, but it was difficult to tell with so many of them hitting the ground.
The point is, a guy who made his career and his millions on ultra-violent fare — and who continues to do so — might as well embrace the Second Amendment and possibly learn a few things in the process.
For instance, the question “Who’s going to attack your house, a f***king Army?” is interesting. One might be inclined to reply: “I don’t know Sly — perhaps we should ask the Japanese Americans who wound up in internment camps only decades ago.” And given that Stallone has fans all around the world, maybe some who escaped tyrannical regimes might want to write him a kind letter regarding the very real armies that knock on doors in the middle of the night — particularly when the population has been disarmed.
Another question for Sly might be: “How do you define ‘assault weapon’?” In ‘Bullet to the Head,’ Stallone’s character, a hit man named Bobo, demonstrates on a cop how he can kill a target … with an apple. In the climax, two men go after each other with axes. Are there times when an apple can be an “assault apple” or an ax can be an “assault ax”? We don’t know, because most interviews don’t continue to probe complex issues once the “right” (i.e., politically correct) answer is given.
Stallone’s comments aside, I did my best to focus solely on the movie.
In short, ‘Bullet to the Head’ is a mindless action flick that is worth checking out with a buddy. A by-the-books cop, Kwon, played by Sung Kang, and hit man Bobo both had their partners killed by the same criminal. Each man seeks to mete out their own form of justice before the credits roll. Along the way they need to survive crooked cops (the kind you might need a weapon to protect yourself from), armed thugs (the kind you might need a weapon to protect yourself from) and the prospect that powerful — but corrupt — politicians might also put a price out on their heads.
The biggest weakness with ‘Bullet to the Head’ is the villain “Keegen,” played by Jason Momoa. He’s soft. And he doesn’t particularly exude evil. He just looks like a beefy model and not a killer (which is probably another reason why almost no one saw his remake of ‘Conan the Barbarian’).
Compare “Keegen” in Bullet with Brian Thompson’s “Night Slasher” in “Cobra.” One guy is so evil he spits all over the place when he blurts out “PIG!” He uncontrollably salivates at the chance to kill the hero. The other guy is simply supposed to look menacing when he comes out of the water. He causally asks, “Are we going to do this?” (i.e., “I guess there has to be a to-the-death battle between us, huh?”)
Compare ‘Cobra’s’ ending, in which Stallone impales a serial killer and casts him into a hellish inferno, with ‘Bullet’s’ … which I won’t ruin for you other than to say it doesn’t measure up to 1986 Stallone.
Go see a Sunday matinee showing of ‘Bullet to the Head’ if you have some time on your hands this weekend. Just be aware that while it’s enjoyable, you’ll feel like you were wearing a bulletproof vest.
And now I give you ‘Angel of the City’ just for good measure. So cheesy. So bad. But so good.