BOUNTY HUNTERS (aka BAIL ENFORCERS) (2011)
Directed by: Patrick McBearty
Screenplay: Reese Eveneshen
Starring: Trish Stratus, Frank J. Zupancic and Boomer Phillips
One time WWE Diva Trish Stratus gets her own action vehicle in the cheap, cheerful and crunchy punchy Bounty Hunters. She’s one third of a group of bail enforcers who have a no nonsense attitude to taking in their targets and aren’t averse to using the odd punch to the face or angry headlock to get their marks to cooperate. Stratus is Jules, the beauty and the brawn of the group that also includes sensible-get-the-job done Ridley (Zupancic) and wisecracking Chase (Phillips). They land a big $100,000 job to bring in a wanted informant but get the possible deal of their lives when a local mob boss offers a $1 million payday to hand the informant over to him. Despite Ridley’s reservations and buoyed by Chase’s gullible enthusiasm to score big they agree only for the handover to go spectacularly wrong. Cue lots of heads getting bust, wisecracks flying and Trish Stratus looking very sexy as she kicks the ass of various assassins sent to eliminate the trio.
Made on a tight budget and presumably with the intention to showcase Trish Stratus’ action movie credentials, Bounty Hunters is a short, sweet and entertaining action ride. Nothing new here story wise really and the filmmakers are obviously stretching the budget as far and as best they can but with a sexy leading lady and lots of crunchy fights, Bounty Hunters is low budget action gold. Stratus is non-surprisingly, after her years in pro wrestling, a gifted fighter: sprightly and energetic in the action scenes, which incorporate various wrestling style moves as well as a nice bit of martial arts. She is also not a bad actress and shares good chemistry with her bail enforcer cohorts. In fact, it’s the interplay between the three leads that makes the film so entertaining: a sort of surrogate family who have as much the gift of the gab as they to the gift of the-punch-you-in-the-face. Boomer Phillips is pretty awesome as the jokey Chase and has a particularly funny and memorable scene-cum-fight with a female assassin posing as a cop. In fact, their confrontation/fight in a diner bathroom is one of the flick’s highlights.
While not overly intricate the fights are well done and include an early altercation in a gym, a fight in the back of a moving ambulance (!) and a finale, which sees Stratus going toe-to-toe with another female in an awesome showdown. On the downside, the film does tend to give a little too much screen time to the big bad guy who spends way too much time talking on the phone and making important speeches (enough: cut to the chase and the action!) and Stratus is perhaps unwisely sidelined for a bit too long come the second half of the film. However, whenever the bounty hunting trio are on screen bantering or when Stratus is kicking ass and looking good doing it, Bounty Hunters is some fine ball busting, fist pounding, head smashing action fun.
Make a sequel.