Saturday, August 17, 2013

BOUNTY KILLER Is A Bloody Good Time - Javi's Take

Directed by: Henry Saine
Written by: Jason Dodson
Starring: Matthew Mardsden, Christian Pitre, Barak Hardley, Kristanna Loke and Gary Busey.
Synopsis: After corporations decimate Earth with their wars, company executives are actively hunted for their crimes by bounty killers. 

Violence and humor are two small passions of mine, and BOUNTY KILLER has plenty. This darkly humorous futuristic action/adventure has some sharp satire and comedic action scenes with plenty of blood that ended up being much more fun than most comedies coming out this year.

In BOUNTY KILLER'S world, the very plausible future is plagued by super-powerful corporations who have usurped the control of governments to create their own armies and wage wars between each other. When the wars got too hot, the top executives cut their losses and flee to safety while the people hired to fight for them die. Unlike most of the people in today's society, these people wised up and realized that the world going through the apocalypse was the fault of the white collar criminals. After the dust settled, a bounty hunting culture popped up in order to bring the corporate executives to justice (or in most cases to have their heads blown off).

The premise is a very obvious reaction to the frustrating political climate where a kid on the street with a bit of pot could serve more jail time than any type of white collar criminal who stole hundreds of people's retirement plans or was found guilty of insider trading, thus affecting millions of people's portfolios. The people that hunt these criminals are called (wait for it) bounty killers, and are the sort of reality-TV-celebrity type of people in this society with advertisements, endorsements, and fame coming along with the killing of their targets. The movie deals with a secret plot to undermine the society that has been established since the fall of the corporate executives, and along the way, we get to see glimpses of what has become of society since everything went to hell.

BOUNTY KILLER needs to be praised for its very confident tone and world building. The tone strikes a balance between perfectly mixing lots of very gratuitous violence in one scene and hilarious physical violence in the next.  The movie features some whimsical transitional animation sequences that help lighten the mood of the movie and also keep the pace of the movie very brisk, leaving very little fluff in the 85 minute running time. There is lots of blood spraying everywhere played against some very lighthearted songs or people reacting to violence in often exaggerated ways. Keep in mind that the action sequences are very well executed and look as great any good action movie.

But to appreciate the movie on a more detailed level, you have to recognize the way this society is portrayed. There are different groups of people, such as the gypsies, who are the more "savage" group and have less sophisticated weaponry. I guess every post-apocalyptic world always devolves somehow into the MAD MAX culture. One of the funniest details is the fact that a 6-pack of PBR tallboys is as good as gold in this world.

The two leads of the film, Matthew Marsden and Christian Pitre as Drifter and Mary Death respectively, are two of the world's most famous Bounty Killers along with Barak Hardley's Jack LeMans, the self-titled "Best Gun Caddy." All three leads have very obvious chemistry and are able to have some great back-and-forths during the various action scenes. Of course, the chemistry between Drifter and Mary is a bit more intense given their....complicated past.

If there was going to be a big complaint of the movie, it would be the CGI, especially when it came to fake blood and some of the vehicles. While it is understandable to be working under budget constraints, there is a point where the effects look distracting in how obviously fake they are. Even then, it's a minor complaint, and while it could be distracting, it was never bad enough to take away from the movie itself.

BOUNTY KILLER is a fun project by director Henry Saine. The leads are charismatic, the story, while feeling slightly derivative, is also full of some touches that make it a fun movie to watch and will have you laughing.

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