Michael Dudikoff (of the AMERICAN NINJA series) and Lisa Howard make an enjoyable team in this lightweight action comedy as a pair of bounty hunters who run afoul of the mob. But although there are many individually enjoyable scenes, the overall plot is weak, and the result is rather
less than the sum of its parts.
Bounty hunter Jersey Bellini (Michael Dudikoff) accepts an assignment to bring in bail-jumping car thief Izzy (Freddy Andreiuci). He catches up with Izzy at the garage where he sells stolen vehicles, just ahead of fellow bounty hunter B.B. (Lisa Howard), Jersey's former girlfriend, who works for
the same agency. While driving back with Izzy, they pull the car over to argue, and Izzy slips away. Back at the now-deserted garage, they hear a noise coming from the trunk of Izzy's most recent "acquisition": it is Starr (Erin Fitzgerald), a hooker who witnessed a murder committed by Deimos
(Benjamin Ratner), the mobster who owns the car. Because Starr is unwilling to go to the corrupt police for protection, B.B. offers to put her up for the night. Deimos's men capture Izzy, who tells them that Jersey probably found Starr. Jersey and B.B. fight off separate attacks by Deimos's men,
who retaliate by kidnapping Jersey's young friend Word (Ashanti Williams) and holding him until Jersey brings them Starr. Overhearing this, Starr escapes, forcing Jersey to find where Word has been hidden before Deimos kills him. Starting with a video store receipt he found in the car, Jersey goes
from the video store to the set of a porn film to an inner-city rap club in search of Deimos's henchman Clayton (Michael McMillan). Clayton leads him to the hideout, but they arrive just after Word has been taken to the spot where Deimos expects to exchange him for Starr. Jersey's idea to disguise
B.B. as Starr works well enough for Word to escape, though he and B.B. are captured. Overcoming sadistic torturer Austraat (Peter Lacroix), Jersey frees B.B., and together they capture Deimos and his men.
BOUNTY HUNTERS resembles nothing so much as an Americanized Jackie Chan movie. Substantially less macho than the usual video action hero, Michael Dudikoff's Jersey is a capable fighter who gets more beatings than he receives. The villains are comical stereotypes, including Cuban-accented Deimos,
who seems to have taken all of his moves from Al Pacino in SCARFACE (1983). It was even shot in Vancouver, which so poorly stood in for the Bronx in Chan's RUMBLE IN THE BRONX (1995). But BOUNTY HUNTERS also shares the major failing of contemporary Chan vehicles: a plot that seems to have been
made up as the film was shot. It doesn't so much end as stop, with a lackluster finale that leaves you wanting more. Still, BOUNTY HUNTERS is recommended to action fans on the strength of good stunt work, the talents of the high-kicking (and quite beautiful) Howard, and a tongue-in-cheek attitude
that doesn't go too far. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, substance abuse, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Michael Dudikoff (of the AMERICAN NINJA series) and Lisa Howard make an enjoyable team in this lightweight action comedy as a pair of bounty hunters who run afoul of the mob. But although there are many individually enjoyable scenes, the overall plot is we… (more)