Bullet – Review

 

Intended as a star-making vehicle for unlikely C-list action icon Danny Trejo, the Robert Rodriguez-produced action thriller Bullet can be taken either one of two ways. The first is that you read the words “Danny Trejo in sunglasses and a leather jacket drives down a desert highway in a muscle car” and chuckle to yourself, while the second is that you read those words and wonder why it was even worth mentioning. If it’s the former, then you clearly see the sense of humour in these things and would therefore find the film unworthy of even that; but if it’s the latter, then clearly Bullet is the unchallenging film for you.

 

Cobbled together from every source of cinematic cop-clichés, Bullet sees Danny Trejo as the titular character, an undercover cop who cage fights for fun in between AA meetings. When Bullet’s grandson is kidnapped by a vengeful cartel however, the renegade cop must track them down whilst being declared a fugitive and hunted by his own force. It’s fairly predictable and uninspired stuff, made marginally more interesting by the (still) amusing notion of Trejo as an action star and what must be the first time Trejo’s advanced age has been mentioned in a film that wasn’t Bad Ass.

 

The biggest issue facing the film is its own tone, a tone which asks you to take proceedings seriously, but keeps leaning heavily on the ball faced cheek of more satirical fare such as Trejo’s own Machette movies. Had the film been more straight-faced, it could have proven itself a sort of lower-budget equivalent to the similarly-themed John Cena-Renny Harlin thriller 12 Rounds; but Bullet lacks the tinge of self-awareness that made 12 Rounds the unabashed man-fun it really was, leaving us instead with a rather shoddily-made, cartoonish and simply inadequate shoot ‘em-up.

 

Challenging the film, the pacing is simply dire. With a ninety minute run time, the first forty are spent on unrelated cop nonsense and scenes clearly written to appease the wannabe-actor screaming to burst out of Trejo’s even louder-screaming mind. To make matters worse, it’s one of those films that simply doesn’t give any thought to what’s actually unfolding on screen at any given moment; drop Trejo off a bridge or out of a moving car for example, and his own car will simply be waiting for him around the corner. It’s so mind-numbingly idiotic in its sensibilities that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything note-worthy about the film at all, save the guiltily enjoyable and continued existence of Danny Trejo: The Unlikely Action Star, who manages to – at least briefly – distract you from a movie that’s clearly firing blanks.

 

 

Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.

 

In it
Danny Trejo, Jonathan Banks, Torsten Voges

Behind it
Nick Lyon




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