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Movie review: ‘Bounty Killer’

Posted 5:22pm on Thursday, Sep. 05, 2013

R (strong bloody violence, strong language, sexuality/nudity); 92 min.

What if you remade For a Few Dollars More with a low-rent heartthrob in the Clint Eastwood role and a hot babe in place of Lee Van Cleef, re-set it in the post-apocalypse, replicated the production design of The Road Warrior, and added lots of humor?

Presenting Bounty Killer, an agreeable time-passer directed with style by Henry Saine, who illustrated Jason Dodson’s graphic novel of the same name (Dodson is a co-screenwriter).

In the post-apocalypse, the villains are corporate CEOs who hoard all the resources, freezing out the 99 percent who are left to scrap for themselves in the seemingly endless sweltering desert Wastelands (“Days like today really make you miss that ozone layer,” one Wasteland resident says). There are no TVs or cellphones, so the big cultural stars are the bounty hunters who kill the CEOs at the behest of the mysterious Council of Nine. They even sign autographs.

The two biggest bounty-hunting stars are Drifter (Matthew Marsden), who looks like the lead singer of a boy band with razor stubble and a tan, and Mary Death (Christian Pitre), who looks (and dresses) like a Victoria’s Secret model with weapons.

Their love/hate relationship fuels much of the “story” (we use the term loosely) as they hunt bad guys — amusingly, when they find CEOs hiding in these dusty ghost towns, they’re still immaculately dressed in tailored suits.

So the movie is pretty stupid in a lot of ways. But in a multiplex world of grim action thrillers with dark heroes, it isn’t the worst thing to blow an hour and a half on a film where everyone — including supporting players Gary Busey, Beverly D’Angelo and Kristanna Loken — seems to be having a good time.

Even at the moment of a cartoon death.

Exclusive: AMC Valley View, Dallas

— G. Allen Johnson,

San Francisco Chronicle

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