See how they conceive evil,
and are pregnant with mischief,
and bring forth lies.
They make a pit, digging it out,
and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
and on their own heads their violence descends.
Director Walter Hill and screenwriter Alessandro Camon based their film on the French graphic novel Du plomb dan la tete. Its Odd-Couple hit man and a Washington DC cop form an uneasy alliance to take down the baddies involved in a corrupt project in New Orleans. Although overloaded with violence, the film can become a guilty pleasure for those who enjoy watching veteran action star Sylvester Stallone deliver his one liners and doling out justice to the crooks who cross swords (guns) with him. His philosophy, such as it is, is revealed when he observes in his narration, “Sometimes you got to abandon your principles and do what’s right.” Both James Bonomo, aka Jimmy Bobo (Stallone), and Det. Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) lose their partners to killers associated with a mercenary turned gangster known only as Keegan (Jason Momoa), who in turn is working with a corrupt West African developer named Robert Nkomo Morel (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). There is also Bonomo’s grown daughter Lisa Bonomo (Sarah Shahi), a tattoo artist with one year of medical school before dropping out, the purpose of the latter obviously being so that she can remove a bullet from the wounded Kwon when her father brings him to her.
That singular “Bullet” in the title should be plural, with the body count rivaling that of one of our Middle Eastern wars—in one scene the villain kills 9 people in a bar and its backroom. Count on plenty of chases, a touch of New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, and a climactic fight in an abandoned factory so beloved by the genre writers—this time with fire axes, which generates one of our heelro’s best remarks, “What are we f—Vikings?” No set of questions for this adrenalin pumper.