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Originally published Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 12:05 AM

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‘Bullet to the Head’: Typical buff, tough Stallone

A movie review of “Bullet to the Head,” which finds Sylvester Stallone playing a hit man who puts an awful lot of bullets into an awful lot of heads as he settles scores with baddies who betrayed him.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review 2 stars

“Bullet to the Head,” with Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Jason Momoa. Directed by Walter Hill, from a screenplay by Alessandro Camon. 91 minutes. Rated R for strong violence, bloody images, language, some nudity and brief drug use. Several theaters.

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Give “Bullet to the Head” this: It delivers on the promise of its title.

Delivers in its very first seconds, as a big ol’ bullet comes blasting out of the screen at the audience in the opening credit sequence.

Delivers on it with shot after shot of shots fired into the foreheads of an endless succession of mugs, lugs, pugs and thugs. (Brain splatter optional.)

Spice with significant helpings of gratuitous female nudity, punch up with a boatload of massive punch-outs, salt liberally with brutish tough-guy patter and ta-dah! Your typical Sylvester Stallone action epic, at your service.

And “Bullet to the Head” is certainly serviceable enough when taken on its own crude terms. Sly has been doing this kind of thing for a long time and nobody does it ... more predictably. You always know what you’re getting with him. It’s as though time has stood still for Stallone.

Still exceedingly buff-looking at 66, his muscled arms crisscrossed with awesome ropy veins and his torso still an imposing triangle of beef, he goes mano a mano with malefactors half his age and gives as good as he gets. Let’s just say he looks a lot less saggy and silly doing his one-man-army routines than his longtime action rival and “Expendables” co-star Mr. Schwarzenegger.

“Bullet’s” script (by Alessandro Camon) is paper-thin nonsense. Sly’s character, a hit man, partners with a cop played by Sung Kang of “Fast Five” fame, to go after the corrupt New Orleans movers and shakers who hired Sly to do a hit and then double-crossed him. Poor underused Kang. When he’s not parrying ethnic zingers from Sly, his character spends most of his time on the cellphone accessing police databases to track down the baddies while Sly handles the rough stuff and regularly saves the cop’s hide from an assortment of assailants.

Director Walter Hill, who’s been in the action game as long as Sly, keeps things moving briskly if unimaginatively. Fans of generic genre action will get their money’s worth.

Soren Andersen: asoren7575@yahoo.com

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