Plot: What’s it about?
Those two intrepid bounty hunters, Jersey Bellini (Michael Dudikoff) and B.B. (Lisa Howard) are back and this time, they’ve taken on their most dangerous assignment ever. As usual, the two are on thin ice with each other, but also as usual, circumstances dictate that they’ll have to work as a team, which isn’t music to their ears. The two fell apart when Jersey left B.B. alone to thwart a jewel heist, which both thought signaled the end of their relationship, business or otherwise. But when the crooks begin to hatch a plan to gain revenge, the two realize they’ll need each other to make it out, no matter how much it kills them to admit it. This time, the stakes are higher, the adventure is more dangerous, and of course, the bounty is larger than ever before, if Jersey and B.B. can remain a team long enough to collect.
As I said in my review for Bounty Hunters, I was pleasantly surprised, but I was still doubtful about this follow up, to say the least. As we all know, sequels tend to be less impressive than the originals and in this case, the original wasn’t that good to start with. In the end however, this was pretty much of the same, which is either good or bad, depending how much you liked the previous picture, of course. I didn’t like Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball as much as the first movie, but it is a decent enough low rent action flick, with some solid moments. The same humorous undertones can be found here, which keeps the film from seeming too serious and that’s a good thing in this case. Michael Dudikoff and Lisa Howard return to their roles, while Tony Curtis joins the supporting cast and yes, I do mean THE Tony Curtis. Some fun fight scenes, cool chases, and better than expected action can all be found here, action addicts will want to give this one a rental, but make sure you also check out the first film, it’s even better.
I know he isn’t an action star in the eyes of the masses, but Michael Dudikoff has managed an extended career in these lower profile pictures. I wouldn’t say he deserves more exposure or what not, but Dudikoff does well in most of them, given the circumstances. In Bounty Hunters, he is able to be very animated and that adds humor, which is always welcome in these kind of flicks. I think he plays the character very well, with a humorous edge and most of the time, Dudikoff seems to be having fun, which enhances the whole event also. Of course, the writing is rather basic and Dudikoff isn’t asked to do much, but he still manages to entertain. You can also see Dudikoff in such films as American Ninja, The Silencer, Bachelor Party, Uncommon Valor, Ringmaster, and of course, Bounty Hunters. The cast also includes Lisa Howard (Tv’s Highlander, The War of the Roses), Steve Bacic (The 6th Day, Another Stakeout), Jim Johnston (Power of Attorney, The Faculty), and Tony Curtis (Spartacus, Some Like It Hot).
Video: How does it look?
Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Just as the case was with the original, this is a solid overall effort, but it never hits that next level to drive the score up. The source print looks clean enough, with no serious blemishes and minimal grain also, no problems there. The colors look bold and even, flesh tones seem natural, and contrast is always stark and well balanced, this transfer should more than please fans.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included 2.0 surround track is a solid one, but sometimes seems a little restrained, like when the action really starts to heat up. The surrounds are used often to good ends, but lack the dynamic range I’d like, not a serious problem, however. I found the atmosphere to be well crafted and natural, never forced or hollow, which is good. The dialogue is smooth and crisp also, no trouble in the least to discuss. This disc also includes English subtitles, if you should need them.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials specific to this film, but it does have a selection of bonus trailers. In an odd twist, the trailer for the original Bounty Hunters is found here and the trailer for Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball is not, though it can be found on the Bounty Hunters disc, which doesn’t even the trailer to that feature. Confused? Me too. It also contains trailers to films whose own DVDs lack the trailer, such as Hamlet, Men of War, The Crow: Salvation, and The Legend of Drunken Master.