Director/co-writer Valeri Milev wastes zero time in pumping up the audience for his post-apocalyptic thriller Bullets of Justice (2019). Right from the beginning a floodgate of gunfights and explosions is let loose, imbuing the film with a high-intensity atmosphere further bolstered by its intriguing storyline rife with socio-political-environmental commentary. With unconventional heroes and villains, numerous jump kicks, and pig-human chimera monstrosities running about, Bullets of Justice is quite possibly the weirdest and one of the most over-the-top and comically charming action thrillers I’ve ever seen.
As children, Rob Justice (Timur Turisbekov) and Raksha (Doroteya Toleva) were taught the way of their violent world by their father known as Grave-digger (Danny Trejo). Now adults, Rob Justice and Raksha hunt the very monsters responsible for the violent state of the world–pig/human hybrids called Muzzles who hunt, herd, and eat humans. No one knows who made them but one thing is for sure, humans must fight to put down this new species and Rob Justice is just the man for the job. Assigned to take out the mother-Muzzle, who births hoards of offspring like a queen bee, Rob Justice as well as his sister and lover Raksha plan a trojan horse tactic as a hail mary for saving the last remaining human survivors.
Danny Trejo is arguably one of those actors where any movie featuring him is bound to be entertaining, if not downright good. Well, Bullets of Justice is at least entertaining in its animal-overlords Planet of the Apes-like premise revamped with modern sensibilities. Occasionally the film was a bit hard to follow as there’s a lot going on–sci-fi aspects include time travel, alternate realities, abominations of biology, and androids–and I found myself having to rewind a few times for comprehension. The vibe felt something like the over-the-top ridiculousness of Demolition Man (1993), except Bullets of Justice is far raunchier, bloodier, and more ridiculous. I’d also say it has less charm to make up for the B grade quality, but Bullets of Justice still feels like it has cult-following written all over it (mostly due to its characters).
I loved Doroteya Toleva as Raksha, the mysteriously mustachioed female whose hardcore personality was modeled after a typical action movie femme fatale but aesthetically was styled atypically. Semir Alkadi was another bright spot as the beautiful but villainous Agent Rafael, who somehow stood out as the most outrageous in a cast of eccentric characters. Social commentary on how humans treat livestock is a little lost in the mix of zaniness; despite a few shots of hook-hung human carcasses and caged people, the movie leans into its slapstick-action and mostly glazes over its message of humans being self-destructive pigs. It’s just missing a “Damn you all to hell!” moment, in my opinion.
Bullets of Justice seemed like it was going for serious action film at the start, however by the midpoint it is clear this is intentionally funny, if perhaps too ridiculous–even by my standards as a bad/B movie lover. The sex scenes were as awkward as something out of The Room (2003), but the production quality is a small step up from that and the premise is interesting despite having a familiar backbone. Valeri Milev certainly has a specific directorial style akin to the raw, quirky, theatrically fantastical, and passionately exploitative gritty action movies of old. If you’re looking for something interesting and fresh with lots of boobies then Bullets of Justice is right up your alley.
6.5 out of 10
|Bullets of Justice – Available on VOD October 15th|
|Runtime:||1 Hr. 16 Mins.|
|Written By:||Valeri Milev & Timur Turisbekov|