Whether or not you will like Bullet Proof will depend on your feelings toward mindless violence. If you're a "yes please" sort of person when it comes to your action violence, then you'll most likely love the latest film from Vinnie Jones.
If you're more of a plot person, then you might want to skip this one.
Not all films are created equal and not everyone has to love a film for it to be enjoyable for you. As suspected, when I looked up the reviews of Bullet Proof, there is a giant divide between the critics who didn't care for it very much and the "average Joe" who seemed to be more entertained than not.
This difference of opinion is not unexpected as critics tend to fawn all over awards-contenders (especially at this point in the year) and generally pan all action films, save for the biggest budgeted affairs with the biggest stars. There's nothing wrong with this ideology per se, but just because a swanky critic pokes holes in a plot that is simply there to move the story from one action sequence to another, that doesn't mean that you can't find joy in said picture.
Vinnie Jones (SNATCH) plays Temple, a sadistic mob boss, in this gritty, white-knuckle action ride. After stealing millions in cash from Temple's drug-dealing hideout, a thief finds a stowaway in his getaway carâ€”Temple's pregnant wife, Mia! Desperate to reclaim his cashâ€”and his unborn sonâ€”Temple sends out a squad of hit men and bounty hunters to bring in Mia and the thief. Speed, cleverness, and good aim give the duo a brief advantage, but how long will their luck hold out?
Bullet Proof is the exact type of film that would have killed during the pandemic (no pun intended). It has just the right amount of polished action sequences that would have blown all the other weak pandemic releases out of the water. That said, it's still an enjoyable watch on the backside of the pandemic.
Vinnie Jones is an actor known for playing heavies and Bullet Proof leans into that in a big way. While in the past, he's been known more as muscle for the big baddie, here he takes center stage as mob boss Temple. It's a role that he was quite literally born to play and he gives a performance that elevates Temple beyond anything on the page.
Jones exudes just the right amount of pure evil to present an over-the-top villain that provides the perfect foil to James Clayton's anti-hero. While I don't have anything against James Clayton. I do think that the difference between this film and being something more successful, is in the casting. James is fine in the role and he does a decent job, but I can't help but wonder what having a funny man in the role such as Ryan Reynolds.
I think a little of Ryan's trademark wit would go a long way to softening the hard action sequences a bit. Not to mention that he just has a way of playing these types of anti-heroes that few other actors can replicate. Again, not a knock on James and his performance here, it's just something that stood out to me as a way in which something as simple as a casting choice could completely sway the court of public opinion.
But, that's all pie-in-the-sky pondering and not really much helpful to the task at hand. Is Bullet Proof? Meh? As I mentioned, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it all comes back to your personal threshold with violence.
If you can't get enough mindless violence, then I think you will find Bullet Proof to be a pleasant surprise and a decent flick to watch on Saturday night. However, if you need more emotional weight or plot to go with your action, then you might want to take a pass on Bullet Proof.
Either way, I don't think Bullet Proof is a bad movie, it's just one that is going to find its audience and little else. I don't think this will be a hit for the casual action fan, but if you want some action and bullets, then Bullet Proof is right up your alley.
Bullet Proof is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.