Machete star Danny Trejo is back in Bullet, another action-heavy shoot-em up starring the Badass Mexican, once again taking on another group of nefarious crooks, and while Bullet may not be the stand-out action film of a generation, or even Trejo’s best, it’s a fun ride, full of action, and far from Trejo’s worst offering.
Danny stars as a rough, tough, not always by-the-book, detective best known as ‘Bullet’, and finds himself in trouble when mob boss Carlito Kane (Jonathan Banks, Beverly Hills Cop) decides to try and save his criminal son from facing execution by not only kidnapping the daughter of the Governor who can reverse his sentence (John Savage, Carnivàle), but also kidnapping Bullet’s own grandson (the the hopes the arresting detective will recant his testimony); leading Bullet to eventually go it alone, and take the fight directly to the mob. Literally. With a gun.
Plot-wise, this is nothing we haven’t seen a hundred times since the ‘80s, but while it’s predictable, it’s also simple, easy to follow, and proven to work; we want to see the tough guy run rough-shot around the city and show the bad guys who’s boss (and we all know Danny Trejo is the boss!), we want to see him triumph despite the physical and legal blockades thrown in his path, and above all we want to see him blow shit up, and shoot people in the face.
Trejo never disappoints where the action is concerned, and Bullet is no exception; right from the get-go the action starts (with a drugs bust, and some rather questionable interrogation techniques), and it doesn’t slow down at all; even to the point where there are needless fights, and a seemingly unending supply of baddies, thrown in just for good measure. Thankfully the action is pretty damn good too; there are some decent uses of slow motion, some cool blood effects, and a general setup that ensures Bullet is cool, action-packed, and above all fun.
Our main star still can’t act to save his life, and you can’t deny he’s looking a little old to be kicking-ass in an all-out action movie, but that’s never bothered him or his huge fanbase before, and is unlikely to do so now; Trejo’s so likeable, everyone wants him to win. However the supporting cast fare less well, and are undeniably weak; Tinsel Korey (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) actually puts in a half-decent showing as Bullet’s drug-addicted daughter, but Savage’s performance as the ‘emotionally distraught’ Governor is laughable, Torsten Voges’ (The Big Lebowski) appearance as the trigger-happy German right-hand to Carlito is acceptable but both clichéd and far too over the top, and sadly even veteran actor Jonathan Banks (now best known as Breaking Bad’s Mike) can do nothing to save the mob boss Carlito from being a one-note caricature the likes of which we’ve seen countless times.
Though in the end, everyone knows what they’re getting with a Danny Trejo movie; action, cheese (including great one-liners such as “you’re in America, so speak Mexican bitch”), action, laughs, action, Danny Trejo, guns, action, and possibly some boobs (though Bullet is lacking in that area compared to his usual fare), and while Bullet might not match up to the first Machete, the mere fact it’s received a theatrical release (as opposed to most of his usual straight-to-DVD movies) should prove there’s something worth catching here.
It’s unoriginal, it’s cast couldn’t act their way into a primary school play, and it’s certainly not going to win any awards, but Bullet does have Danny Trejo. It’s also got a booming soundtrack, a cool car, a couple of pretty co-stars, and plenty of kick-ass action (particularly when things heat up during the third act). If you’re looking for the next Citizen Kane, then keep looking. But if you’re looking for action, and a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you’ve found it with Bullet; Danny Trejo’s latest crowd-pleaser.
Bullet was viewed in The Regent Cinema, Newtown.