Originally entitled Bail Enforcers, the low budget Canadian action film stars former WWE wrestler Trish Stratus as Jules, a bounty hunter who works part-time at a strip club (I swear I’m not making this up). We meet Jules dressed in a school girl costume in the middle of a Mexican stand-off as the movie opens.
Things go downhill from there as we flashback to the events that led Jules, her partner (Boomer Phillips), and her boss (Frank J. Zupancic) to let one bounty (Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll) go free in order to stare down a gangster (Joe Rafla) who offers the team $1,000,000 to buy the group’s latest prisoner, a mob informant (Enrico DiFede) with a $100,000 bounty on his head.
The film’s story hinges on a dilemma that isn’t really even made as the group has a falling out during the hand-off and spends most of the movie trying to figure out what to do after pissing off a mobster with psychotic killers (Andrea James Lui, Christian Bako, Richard Ha) in his employ.
Filmed entirely in Toronto, Ontario, with a mostly Canadian cast Bounty Hunters the film lacks the edge necessary to pull off the story. Everyone involved is just too damn nice. It doesn’t help that the B-movie dialogue coming out of their mouths is ridiculous without being funny enough to laugh off.
The action scenes might not be the crazy Japanese variety, but there are some impressive close-quarters fight sequences that come off well. The film’s best fight takes place in the back of a moving ambulance. However, other fights which allow the characters more room and time to work look and feel overly choreographed and don’t work nearly as well.
Even for a low budget straight-to-DVD feature Bounty Hunters has far too many problems to be considered a success. Had the film embraced its darker tone by casting some legitimately scary baddies, or chosen to go a little more tongue-in-cheek and celebrate its low budget limitations, it would have been far more enjoyable. As it is, the movie is little more than a curiosity for those wanting to see if Stratus can carry a film when the script does little to help her out. Sadly, the answer is no.
The DVD includes the trailer, a behind-the-scenes featurette on one of the film’s fight scenes, and a short interview with Stratus discussing doing her own stunts, the large number of fight scenes, choreographing and filming fight sequences with Lui, and learning Krav Maga for the film.
[MPI Home Video, DVD $24.98]