Tuesday, October 29, 2013

These Bounty Killer(s) Should Retire Before They Hurt Themselves: A Movie Review

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*full disclosure: a DVD screener of this film was provided by Arc Entertainment.

Director: Henry Saine.

Writers: Jason Dodson, Colin Ebeling, and Henry Saine.

Cast: Matthew Marsden, Kristanna Loken, Christian Pitre, Barak Hardley, Abraham Benrubi and Gary Busey.

This film critic is not a fan of writing negative reviews. However, reviews can sometimes serve as a warning, to steer viewers away from certain material. Henry Saine's (The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu) Bounty Killer is a film that most film fans will want to skip. Based on a 2013 comic book, Bounty Killer offers silly situations in a future post-apocalyptic landscape. The film also offers very little in its characters, while trying to trump up its shortfalls by offering almost every genre in the book. This mishmash of story ideas and weak characters creates for a very uninspiring ninety-two minutes.

The story is built on a very weak foundation. The film introduces itself as an underdog story, in which mercenaries track down white collar criminals. Bounty Killer then drops this idea five minutes later. A weak and very false love story is introduced between the main protagonists: Drifter (Matthew Marsden) and Mary Death (Christian Pitre). Then, a The Road Warrior homage is thrown in the mix and the film is, shortly, all over the place. The story, on which this film is built, just does not bring anything interesting, or complex, or unified to the screen.

The film tries to cover far too many genres. As stated, there are romantic elements here between two bounty killers. This relationship is more a contrivance, than anything else. As well, there are action elements. The bounty killers square off against several cannibals in a desert wasteland. This conflict is barely set-up. Then, there are comedic elements, including a bumbling sidekick, named Jack (Barak Hardley). This character is completely irrelevant and unnecessary. There are also sci-fi elements. CGI settings show destruction of a nuclear origin. These settings sometimes look well done and sometimes they look poorly rendered. All of these genres do not fit well together and the writers, simply, took on too much material for such a small film.

Overall, this reviewer could not believe how silly this film came across. You would think that with so many prominent female characters in the film (most of the antagonists) that this would be a female empowerment film. But, no one is being empowered in this title. The central character Mary Death battles foes just as good as the rest of the guys. But, she does her acrobatics with high heels, lingerie and a mini-skirt. It just comes across as dumb. As well, Mary Death is stabbed and shot late in the film, but she is still up for a roll in the hay one scene later. There are some severe breaks with any form of reality here. Also, the forced conflict between the romantic pair of the Drifter and Mary Death just rings untrue. They seem to be involved in some sort of competitive relationship. This pairing is juvenile and bizarre to watch. There really is nothing worth seeing here.

Bounty Killer will satisfy very few watchers. This title tries to cover too many bases and in doing so, it covers none of them well or with any complexity. Some of the settings and costumes are well done. But, these film elements are not enough to help the weakly set-up story. The characters are flimsy and this viewer found himself apathetic about all of them. There are a few well shot scenes and the action is captured well. Though, the poor film elements outweigh the positive ones, by a wide margin.

This title will release on home video formats shortly and the majority of film fans would be best served by searching out other films in the post-apocalyptic genre. There are too many high quality films out there and Bounty Killer cannot compete with many of them. A hodgepodge of ideas, this film is just a mess and this reviewer regrets sitting through the entire viewing.

Overall: 5 out of 10 (weak characters, forced conflicts, unbelievable scenes and lapses in story logic, very poor).

More info' on this film is available in a preview article on 28DLA:

Bounty Killer Details on 28DLA


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