Michael Dudikoff deserves credit: even though he's received a good deal of criticism as being a disappointing action hero impersonator, his rate of output in the low budget adventure genre was impressive, and every once in a while he'd manage a genuinely entertaining production like "Bounty Hunters" here. As you can tell by the rating, it's not entertaining in a perfect way, but nonetheless makes for fun viewing on a slow afternoon.
The story: professional bounty hunters Jersey (Dudikoff) and B. B. (Lisa Howard, Earth: Final Conflict) form an uneasy partnership of necessity when the criminal they are both hunting gets them in the crosshairs of the mafia...
If you, like me, know Dudikoff mainly from his outings as the American Ninja, you may be surprised to see how he emotes as the easy-going, wise-cracking hero of the film; regardless of whether he does it well or poorly, Michael Dudikoff certainly *can* act. Then again, few performers here have problems with being expressive: supporting villain Freddy Andreiuci (Witchcraft V) and prostitute/voice actress Erin Fitzgerald (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) are virtual cartoon characters, and main bad guy Benjamin Ratner (Last Wedding) is unrestrainedly cheesy in his depiction of the Latin mob boss. The proliferation of these slightly-overacting characters made me realize that this is actually an action-comedy, though so effectively camouflaged in the package of a regular mid-90s action flick that it's a bit unclear which parts are purposely meant to be funny. It's not a total triumph, but the movie walks the line between adrenaline and buffoonery more skillfully than many others of its kind.
While flawed, the action content is more than sufficient for the movie. There's some shooting, some fast cars, and a small proliferation of attack traps (car hood projectiles, electrocuted lamp, exploding television...), but naturally, what caught my eye most were the six fight scenes that Dudikoff shares with Lisa Howard. Ol' Michael has found a way to make his own awkward karate look good: by having a co-star whose moves are even more awkward. I like Lisa as a character, but man! - even though she's a legitimate martial artist, her goofy kicking would have Cynthia Rothrock shaking her head in shame. None of the fights are particularly noteworthy, though the best of them - a six-on-two encounter in a chop shop - features some cool spin kicks on the parts of the henchmen.
There's not much that can be changed about "Bounty Hunters" to make it better without changing its formula. It's surprisingly fun in some respects, but these are the same reason that the movie's audience base is limited. Dudikoff fans ought to snatch this one up quickly, and general action fans may enjoy it too, but that's where things stop.