Bounty Killer Movie Review
Like a spoof mash-up of Mad Max and Machete, this nutty action movie throws us into a Wild West dystopia with enough wit and energy to overcome its clunky production values. A whiff of serious subtext helps too. Although it's essentially just a riotous B-movie thrill ride without much of a plot.
The story takes place in the near future, after the Corporate Wars destroyed the world. Now the former company executives are under death warrants, chased by superstar bounty killers through the desolate landscape. One of the most notorious killers is Drifter (Marsden), who has a bounty on his head after sniffing too close to a major scandal. As he heads to the Council to clear his name, he and his new gun caddy Jack (Hardley) are chased by the glamourous killer Mary Death (Pitre). And all of them are being pursued by the relentless Van Sterling (Busey), whose shady boss (Loken) is working on some sort of nefarious plan.
The film's luridly colourful design echoes its graphic-novel origins, as do the comic-book animation segments. And the violence is relentlessly blood-spurting, keeping us laughing so we don't notice how cheesy the effects and action really are. Fortunately, everything is underscored with sardonic humour, rude jokes and melodramatic characters, each of whom has a torrid history. This allows for plenty of irrelevant innuendo, especially between the inexpressive Marsden and the striking Pitre.
Yes, everything here is outrageously over-the-top, including the D-list cameos that dot the screen and add to the film's garish ambience. Along the way, the only element we can engage with is the underlying commentary on the ultimate danger of corporate greed. Otherwise, this is just a ridiculous post-apocalyptic romp. If filmmaker Saine had a bit more money, and a surer grip on the material, this might have been a cult classic. As is, it's just a bit of trashy fun.