Low-grade trash that even Trejo can't save
With over 250 movies under his belt, and currently averaging about one a month, Danny Trejo clearly favours quantity over... well, everything else.It’s surprising really that nobody has made a remake of Steve McQueen’s iconic 1968 movie, Bullitt. Yet. It’s a small miracle that the ruthless Hollywood remake-making machine hasn’t got around to this particular classic, but I bet we’re not far off. In the mean time, though, there are plenty of productions that pay tribute to one of McQueen’s most famous roles – from video games to TV series to movies. The latest is hack director Nick Lyon’s bottom-bargain-basement feature, Bullet, which adopts a not-so-subtle approach to homage with its titular character, Frank “Bullet” Marasco roaring onto the screen with a throaty American muscle-car (admittedly not a Mustang – as is strangely promoted on the poster – but a Dodge Challenger).Thankfully the comparisons pretty-much end there – although, that in itself makes you wonder why they even bothered – and the story instead lapses into an almost incoherent string of genre clichés, stacked up high in some desperate shotgun-blast attempt at making something work. Kidnapping children; framing the lead protagonist; forced suicide; drug relapses; Russian Roulette-style interrogation; cage-fighting and a really, really bad quick-draw shootout.
The truth is, none of this really sticks.
Danny Trejo is normally a fairly enjoyable watch, but this is far from his tongue-in-cheek Machete series, and he looks old and tired in the lead role, which would have probably better suited somebody like Steve Austin. Which is a hell of a thing to say. Imagine a movie so bad that adding Steve Austin to the cast list would make it better! Beverly Hills Cop’s henchman Jonathan Banks provides an oddly blotchy (and not consistently so) villain who occasionally looks – unintentionally – like he’s got some kind of skin disease, and has zero chance of being memorable; and The Deer Hunter’s John Savage really couldn’t sink much lower than this, although the DTV world has been his only friend of late.
Even hard-line Trejo enthusiasts are going to struggle to find anything of merit in this dire mess.
Even for somebody proficient in straight-to-video actioners, Bullet is a pretty terrible entry, and it would appear to be largely thanks to the writer/director, who shapes what could have been a distinctly unmemorable DTV genre slice into an incoherent – and frankly boring – mess. Reputedly, this was possibly due to a lawsuit between him and producer Robert Rodriguez, who kept him from getting final cut. But, even for a producer’s cut, this is a shoddy piece of ‘filmmaking’.
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