BULLET TO THE HEAD
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Spectre.
The film opens with Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) waiting for someone. A car drives up, and he gets in. The driver pulls a gun on him, but before they can pull the trigger, James "Jimmy" Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) shoots and kills them. Jimmy narrates saying it was the first time he saved a cop, and he's not sure why he did.
The film then jumps back in time a week or so. A corrupt ex-cop Hank Greely (Holt McCallany) is in an expensive hotel suite, drinking and snorting cocaine. A prostitute is in the shower getting ready for him.
Jimmy and his partner Louis Blanchard (Jon Seda) drive to the hotel. Jimmy asks Louis if he is ready. Louis says yes.
They get to Greely's room and knock, posing as cops. Greely says they can't bother him without a warrant, and he wants them to leave since he's about to get laid. Jimmy and Louis bust in anyway, and after taking some more verbal abuse from Greely, Louis shoots him twice in the chest. Jimmy reminds Louis to take Greely's watch and wallet since it has to look like a robbery gone wrong, while he checks out the bathroom. The prostitute cowers in the shower, trying to hide though Jimmy sees her anyway. The woman pleads, saying she didn't see anything. Jimmy notices a panther tattoo on her back and pauses, then raises his gun at her.
We cut back to Louis who hears a shot. Suddenly, Greely gets up and attacks him, not being fully dead. Louis struggles with him, not able to reach his gun. Jimmy comes back out and shoots him in the head to finish him off. Louis asks about the gunshot and Jimmy mentions the hooker and that he took care of it. Jimmy asks if he wants to do anything else before they leave. Louis kicks the now dead Greely once more then they leave.
At the river, they put Greely's effects and their guns in a pouch to throw in the water. Jimmy talks to Louis, saying after they get paid that he should lay low for a bit and take a vacation to see his mother. Louis asks where that is coming from. Jimmy reveals he didn't kill the prostitute; he shot a mirror instead. Louis balks at leaving a live witness, but Jimmy says she is actually more afraid of her employers than them (Jimmy will later state via narration that he doesn't kill women or children, one of his few rules). Louis just shakes his head, and they throw the pouch into the river then head off to get paid.
They head to a Cajun rock bar, and Louis orders himself a beer and whiskey for Jimmy, even though they don't have Jimmy's favorite whiskey, Bullet. Jimmy tells Louis that if Ronnie Earl (Brian Van Holt) doesn't show up soon they will leave. Jimmy goes to the bathroom as another man, Keegan (Jason Momoa) watches intently. Keegan goes up to Louis with a curved blade in his hand. He spills some beer on Louis to distract them, then quickly but violently stabs him twice on each side of his torso, wounding him fatally. Keegan moves to the bathroom for Jimmy.
Jimmy sees Keegan walk in and knows something is up. Keegan tries to stab Jimmy, but he is ready and they get into a large brawl, more or less destroying the bathroom. Jimmy pulls a gun and fires as Keegan leaves the room, escaping the bar. Luckily for Jimmy the noise is masked by the band. He goes to check on Louis only to find him dead. He leaves as there is nothing he can do for him.
The next day, Keegan meets with his employer Robert Morel (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Morel is concerned about the Greely affair. Morel's lawyer, Marcus Baptiste (Christian Slater) explains Greely tried to blackmail Morel, and he gave information of Morel's dirty dealings to a local mobster Baby Jack (Douglas M. Griffin). Keegan promises to get the information back and handle their other problem (Jimmy).
Detective Kwon heads into New Orleans, on orders from his bosses to find out what happened to Greely. He meets up with local police, including Lt. Lebreton (Dane Rhodes) about his investigation. They initially believe like everyone else that Greely's death was a robbery gone wrong but begin to think differently when they interview the prostitute. The girl states plainly that the men were there to kill Greely, but she didn't get a good look at their faces as she hid. Kwon notices the panther tattoo, noting she most likely belongs to a Russian prostitution ring.
They go to the morgue where Greely is being autopsied right next to Louis. We heard from the doctor that the stab wounds that killed Louis deflated his lungs and pierced his heart. It was a rather quick, but horrible way to die. Kwon gets suspicious and calls his DC contact about known associates to Louis getting Jimmy's name. He tells Lebreton he thinks Louis and Jimmy killed Greely. Kwon is about to leave, but Lebreton tells him that he has to leave his gun, as he doesn't have a license to carry one in their district. Kwon reluctantly hands it over.
Kwon leaves a message for Jimmy to meet him at a bar.
Jimmy is on the dock of his house thinking about Louis. He narrates that he knows Louis was an in adult and knew the risks of their profession. However, he grew sentimental towards him. Louis worked with Jimmy for 6 years, was a total professional, and never gave him any trouble. Jimmy feels indebted to avenge him. He has Louis' knife, which he intends to use on the man who killed him.
Jimmy arrives at the bar where Kwon is and asks for a glass. The bartender notes it is a bar so he will have to pay for liquor. Jimmy asks if he has Bullet whisky. The bartender says no, and Jimmy says he does, bringing out a bottle. Jimmy pays him 20 dollars to "rent" a glass while he and Kwon talk. Kwon gets to the point; he knows that Jimmy and Louis killed Greely and that he was probably set up. Kwon wants to know what he knows. Jimmy obviously doesn't want to talk to him and brushes him off. Kwon leaves him some money to have a drink for Louis, saying that is probably the only thing he will do for him.
Kwon leaves the bar, going into the streets during a parade. He notices two men following him and runs off, heading into a parking garage. Though unarmed, he gets the drop on one of the men, grabbing his revolver and killing him. He searches the body and finds a police shield, shocked. In his shock, he doesn't see the second man, who shoots him in the shoulder. Kwon tries to return fire but is out of bullets. Just as the second man has the drop on him, Jimmy shows up and clobbers the second shooter with his car, sending him into a concrete barrier, breaking his back and killing him. Kwon grabs another gun from the first guy and gets in. Kwon wants to wait for the police and explain himself, but Jimmy notes the evidence is not in his favor since his victims are cops and he used one of their weapons to kill one. Jimmy says he can either come with him to get patched up, or he can wait for the police. Kwon agrees to go with him.
Jimmy drives to a tattoo parlor and gets out. Kwon doesn't understand why they are there. However, he uses the distraction to grab Jimmy's gun from the glove compartment and tinker with it.
Jimmy heads inside and speaks to Lisa (Sarah Shahi) the tattoo artist, saying he needs her "expertise" with medicine. Lisa said he would stop doing this to her. Jimmy apologizes and says this is the last one. Kwon calls Lebreton and tells him the situation, and that he will call him later. Kwon sees Lisa and asks if she is the doctor. Jimmy says she has a year of medical school and is the best he will get in this situation. Kwon goes inside and Lisa patches him up, getting the bullet out of his shoulder.
Meanwhile, Keegan tracks to Baby Jack to his bar. He confidently walks by his shoulders and goes into the back room with a silenced pistol. He kills Baby Jack's poker buddies and calmly tells him to open the safe. The second he does, Keegan kills him too. He grabs the file on Morel and switches weapons as he comes back into the main room. He effortlessly slaughters the rest of Baby Jack's men and leaves the bar unharmed.
Kwon and Jimmy head off trying to find Ronnie Earl. Kwon asks about Lisa, saying she and him make an unconventional pair, and she must be giving him "something special." The pissed off Jimmy reveals to Kwon that Lisa is his daughter. Kwon looks uncomfortable, realizing he just put his foot in his mouth big time. To make up for it, he calls his DC contact to look up Ronnie Earl, and they find out he will be at a massage parlor. Jimmy says he will be going in alone and takes his gun with him.
Jimmy finds Ronnie Earl getting a massage and tells the masseuse to "Stand over there silently. Forever." He reveals himself to Ronnie Earl and says Ronnie set him and Louis up. Ronnie Earl denies it, saying that their employer Morel, hasn't paid him either. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Jimmy tells him to get dressed. Ronnie Earl goes for a gun, but Jimmy already has the drop on him. Ronnie Earl then says Marcus Baptiste handle's Morel's business and asks what amount of money will make their recent misunderstanding go away. Jimmy is not willing to negotiate since Ronnie got Louis killed and pulls the trigger but the gun jams since Kwon removed the firing pin. Ronnie Earl fights Jimmy, but Jimmy easily overpowers him, takes Ronnie Earl's gun and shoots him several times ending with a coup de grace in the head.
Kwon waits for Jimmy and asks if he got anything from Ronnie Earl. Jimmy responds by gut punching Kwon hard, pissed that he removed the firing pin from his gun and almost got him killed. Kwon tells Jimmy to go fuck himself. He couldn't let Jimmy go and kill everyone; he is a cop after all. Jimmy says if they want the truth, they need to do things his way. Kwon notes they need to work together. Jimmy heads back to the car. "You had me at fuck you," Jimmy says.
Kwon calls his DC contact about Marcus and find out the address to his house. Marcus is having a costume party, so Jimmy and Kwon head to a costume shop for masks. They get in, and Jimmy looks around while Kwon keeps a look out. Jimmy sees Keegan and wants to kill him, but there is too many witnesses and too many ways it could go wrong. Jimmy sees Marcus and follows him.
Morel is taking a meeting with several businessman. He reveals that he has been buying up housing and plans to tear it down to build high end condos. Marcus comes in and asks if Morel needs anything. Morel says more whiskey and privacy. Marcus nods, angry he is being pushed out. Marcus takes a few glasses from a waitress and takes them into the bathroom, planning to piss in them to get back at Morel. Jimmy is waiting for him and knocks him out. He and Kwon calmly walk him out of the party and stuff in the backseat of their car.
Jimmy warns Kwon that if Marcus wakes up, he should knock him out again. Kwon thinks he obviously knocked out. Just then, Marcus wakes up and tries to crash the car. Jimmy is forced to knock him out and yells at Kwon for failing his only job.
Morel finds out Marcus is missing and is chewing out his security, lead by corrupt officer Detective Towne (Marcus Lyle Brown). Keegan tells Morel that they have GPS tracking on Marcus' phone, and they can track him. Morel says the recovering of the information Marcus has is primary to everything else, including Marcus' safety. He then burns the file Baby Jack had in his safe.
Jimmy and Kwon have Marcus tied up in Jimmy's riverside house. Kwon requests to ask the questions first, as he can be the "good cop." Jimmy agrees. When Marcus wakes up, Jimmy threatens him and makes it clear that he better answer Kwon's questions or "you'll answer to me." Kwon notes that Marcus was a Chicago lawyer who moved to New Orleans and his speciality is real estate. He then makes it clear that he will be disbarred, disgraced, and going to prison for being wrapped up with Morel. Marcus begins to talk about Morel's plans and hands over a flash drive with important information. Jimmy wants to know about Keegan. Marcus says he is an ex-mercenary who works with men who consider him a God. Marcus says Keegan is going to kill them both, and he is going to watch. Jimmy, having enough of him, kills him with a bullet to the head, with Kwon looking on in horror.
"You just don't kill a guy like that!" Kwon screams. "I just did," Jimmy replies matter of factly.
Kwon tells him that eventually they are going to have to discuss the crimes Jimmy has committed. Jimmy is exhausted with the "I'm-going-to-take-you-in" talks and tells him as such. Meanwhile, Keegan and 4 other mercenaries are laying in waiting with machine guns. They pepper the house with bullets and Jimmy and Kwon hit the floor and crawl into the water, escaping. They make it to a shed where Jimmy has a detonator just as Keegan and his men enter. Jimmy activates it. Keegan notices the bomb and tries to warn his men as he jumps out a window. The house blows, killing Keegan's men. Keegan looks at Jimmy in the distance angrily.
The next morning, Jimmy and Kwon are on a boat transferring their car across the river. Jimmy notes that Kwon probably wants to know why he had his house rigged with C4, but Kwon notes people in his business are usually paranoid, so it doesn't surprise him. Kwon says he will be meeting a police contact later, and Jimmy can do whatever he wants.
We now return to the beginning of the movie with Kwon waiting for someone. The driver of the car is Lt. Lebreton. Kwon relates his investigation and that it appears that Morel has several police officers in pocket. Lebreton says he already knows and puts a gun to Kwon's head, saying he should of went home. Jimmy shows up and kills Lebreton dead. "I know. I've heard this argument before. We should have taken him in," Jimmy deadpans.
Jimmy and Kwon are driving. Kwon asks why he followed him. Jimmy says he guessed that Morel had several high up police officers in his pocket. They drive to Lisa's house to lay low for a bit. Lisa is in the tub, naked, working on some tattoo art. Jimmy gives Kwon a key to the house, thinking Lisa is sleeping. Kwon comes in as Lisa is walking around practically naked save for a towel and scares her. Kwon is embarrassed and quickly asks to use the computer. Kwon looks at the files and sees that Morel has his hands in everything.
Morel is speaking to Towne saying they need to get the information back. Towne says Keegan found out that Jimmy has a daughter. Morel says Keegan should pay her a visit. Afterwards, when everything is settled, Morel notes, Keegan should be terminated. Towne says that it would not be best as Keegan is a great asset. However, Morel finds him to be a liability as he doesn't seem to care about money. Actually, Morel doesn't know what he cares for.
Kwon and Jimmy leave Lisa's and drive off to their next lead. Jimmy reveals that Lisa's mother was a prostitute that died 15 years ago. He hasn't been able to be much of a father outside of financial support but is glad she turned out okay. Given that her father is a contract killer and her mother was a hooker, that is outstanding all things considered in Jimmy's book.
Keegan goes to Lisa's tattoo parlor and says he needs to speak to her. Lisa says give her a minute. Keegan goes to grab her, and two of her customers try to defend her. Keegan easily beats them up and judging by what he does, most likely kills them. Lisa cracks a bottle over his head, but Keegan just smiles and knocks her out cold, dragging her away.
Jimmy gets a call from Keegan, revealing that he has Lisa. They want the flash drive Marcus had. Jimmy asks for a location. Kwon asks what he going to do. Jimmy says he will give them what they want, get Lisa back, and kill them.
Jimmy shows up alone and Morel's guards search Jimmy for weapons. He gets up to see Morel, and says he wants proof Lisa is still alive. Morel orders a guard to bring her to Jimmy. Once he sees she is alive, he hands over the flash drive. Morel asks about Kwon, but Jimmy says he is just a cop, and he'll kill him if Morel wants. Lisa looks at her father in shock. Morel and Jimmy agree to a 250K contract on Kwon and Morel lets him leave with Lisa unharmed. Keegan is angry that Jimmy is getting a pass, but Morel is unwilling to listen to him. "When I want your opinion, I'll buy you a brain," Morel states.
Unknown to Morel and Keegan, Kwon has snuck in with Jimmy's help into the building to covertly take out some guards. He gets the drop on one and tries to get him to drop his gun. The goon is unwilling, and Kwon has to fight him, eventually throwing him over a railing to his death.
Keegan is angry that Jimmy is allowed to walk out, given the fact that he has caused them all this trouble. Furthermore, Keegan lost 4 men the night before. Morel is unwilling to listen, saying his men knew the risks of their work. Morel just wants business to continue. Keegan then shows his true colors, killing one of Morel's guards and Det. Towne. Morel screams that this is his city, and he knew he couldn't trust a man that didn't care about money. Keegan smirks then shoots Morel several times. He steals the flash drive and laptop, eventually dropping the laptop into a river of water.
Jimmy, noticing something is wrong, runs with his daughter, hiding her away. Jimmy starts to take fire from Morel's goons by his car. He gets to safe place and blows the car with hidden explosives, killing them.
Cut to alternate shots of Keegan and Kwon killing Morel's guards.
Jimmy and Keegan confront one another. Keegan notices a plaque commemorating firefighters that fought to save people in 1910, in the building they are standing in. Keegan scoffs that Morel wanted to tear the building for condos, and that no one would remember who died here. Jimmy says Keegan is boring him.
Keegan notices two axes in the display and takes them, throwing one Jimmy's way.
"What are we, Vikings now?" Jimmy asks.
Keegan screams at him to pick the axe up. Jimmy complies.
They get into a long axe fight. Jimmy gets in a few hits and a few punches, but Keegan seemingly has the advantage given his physicality and his skills. At one point, Keegan cuts Jimmy's axe in half. But Jimmy uses the distraction to slam one of the pointed ends into Keegan's foot. He then uses Louis' knife and stabs Keegan in the throat. Keegan tears the knife out, bleeding bad, but not dead yet. As he goes in to strike, Kwon shows up with Lisa and shoots Keegan twice in the head.
Jimmy says he had it handled, but Kwon says he was a dead man. Kwon says they still have to settle their disagreement. Jimmy asks if that is so, and shoots him in the shoulder again. Lisa is shocked, but Jimmy reveals his true motive; Kwon can say that Morel was killed by his own people, and that Jimmy killed the rest. Kwon tried to arrest him and got shot for his trouble. He asks Lisa if she is going to stay with Kwon or leave with him. Lisa says she will stay. Jimmy nods and says he will contact her soon.
Via narration, Jimmy says Kwon did him one better; when the official story came out, he wasn't named. Kwon's narrative basically said that all the bad guys got greedy and turned on each other, leaving them all dead. Jimmy notes that maybe not all cops are bad.
Some time later Jimmy is drinking at a bar, when Kwon shows up. Kwon notes he is doing all right considering two bullet wounds in the shoulder. Kwon tells Jimmy that he is thinking about getting a tattoo. Apparently Lisa had visited him many times in the hospital, and they got to know each other well (subtly implying to Jimmy that he is dating and/or slept with his daughter). Jimmy takes the news stoically with a "Is that so?" Kwon leans in closer and says he is going to give him a pass on his past crimes. Even the stuff he did with the Keegan affair because in the end, they went after Lisa. But if he EVER finds out Jimmy is connected to another crime, Kwon will take him down, no hesitation. Jimmy smirks at this and notes, "That'll be the day." Jimmy leaves some money for Kwon to have a drink.
Jimmy heads out of the bar, and notes that he had to buy a new car since he had to blow up his previous one. He is shown to bought a Porsche. He notes it was pricey, but in the end it doesn't matter as no one lives forever. Jimmy drives off into the night.