A gonzo ten-minute standoff between Adrien Brody and a man-eating pitbull single-handedly justifies the existence of the otherwise uninspired heist thriller Bullet Head. Unfortunately, viewers must wade through an hour of long-winded dialogue and momentum-killing flashbacks before seeing Brody, as a hapless bank robber waiting for a getaway car after a job goes awry, race through an abandoned warehouse to avoid a Cujo-esque attack dog.
Before this energizing sequence, Brody (The Pianist) and co-stars John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons) and Rory Culkin (You Can Count on Me) laboriously establish their dull stock characters through tenuously related flashbacks about closely guarded truffles, deadbeat dads and stolen goldfish. Malkovich, as a cynical veteran thief, instigates most of the talking: He chides Culkin’s junkie newbie and dispenses fatherly advice to Brody’s cipher-like everyman. But there’s one topic that Malkovich’s world-weary character never brings up: the attack dog that’s guarding the stairway to their hideout’s main exit.
Thankfully, you don’t even have to remember these disposable protagonists’ names when Brody locks (flimsy) doors, sprints through (bottleneck) corridors, and hides in an unlocked school bus to avoid his nameless four-legged nemesis. Instead, enjoy the absurd spectacle of Brody climbing into a hollowed-out piano! Gasp as a computer-generated drop of sweat gives away his location! Laugh with joy as a blood-soaked pooch crashes into the piano like a heat-seeking missile!
Directed by Paul Solet
Opens December 8, Village East Cinema
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2017