Review: Christmas Bounty

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Plot: Really? Yeah, I start with a catchphrase from The Miz, as I really have no clue what the plot was. A girl from New Jersey who missed her old life? A girl looking for love? Unfinished business? A girl from Jersey apparently left home and moved to Manhattan and fell in love with a rich sophisticated socialite is drawn back into the family bounty hunting business when a former crook is out from prison. During her attempts to subdue the escaped con, she is reunited with a former flame and employee of her father, which leads to many uncomfortable moments for everyone, and anyone who sat through this debacle of a movie.

Photo Credit: WWE/Cate Cameron/ABC Family
Photo Credit: WWE/Cate Cameron/ABC Family

This is supposed to be a family holiday television movie on ABC Family. Except lots of sexual innuendo, a woman with bigger breasts than two shift-stuffed basketballs, gun violence and plenty of content which by any standard should be considered mature. The latter tossed out the window as we got the most immature acting I have ever seen. The humor was forced, dialogue the worst I have ever heard and the majority of casting was terrible. How this qualified as a family movie is beyond me. Will Greenberg plays James, the upper-class love interest of Tory Bell (Francia Raisa), and Mike “The Miz” Mizanin plays Mike the muscle of the crew. Even IMDB is confused about the name choice since it does not list the character’s name. Francia has everything ABC Family could want in a lead female role. White teeth, lots of smiles, sad forlorn pouting, and constant grimacing during dramatic scenes or inadvertent constipation. If James was supposed to be complete tool without a spine or personality, then Greenberg did a good job, unless Greenberg himself has no spine and is a complete waste of oxygen.

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Throughout the film poor little Tory has to figure out who she is and who she loves. Torn between a world of being a happy elementary school teacher and her past life of being a tough bounty hunter in South Jersey, she has ditsy over-the-top stereotyped parents and one friend (yes, just one) who remind her how much she is loved and missed. We get the not-at-all-seen-from-a-mile-away revelation about her previous love-life with Mike, we get the past-catching-up-with-her routine when the Italian mob goes after her, and we get a whole lot of predictable drama garbage.

The sad part is, The Miz is actually a good actor. It is a shame he was in this film, because no one will believe he can act after suffering through this crap. Strike that, reverse it. People might believe he could be a good actor as no one will have watched this past the opening five minutes. The Miz was the only one who could carry any dialogue and make it sound believable. Everyone has stupid clichés, worse lines repeated in every teen drama on the CW, and I give credit to Miz for being able to withstand the ballet of idiocy which unfolded.

Photo Credit: WWE/Cate Cameron/ABC Family
Photo Credit: WWE/Cate Cameron/ABC Family

The supporting cast did nothing for the film, except for April Telek who probably aroused a few watchers as the only thing noticeable about her performance were the two beach balls busting out in every scene. Cleary, ABC casted for her family-friendly appearance and stellar acting abilities. Aleks Paunovic played the worst Italian boss I have ever seen, and the role of Hawk Bell, played by Michael Hanus should have been played by Giovanni Roselli (formerly Romeo Rosselli of WWE fame), because at least he has real Italian blood and is more convincing as a tough guy, whereas Hanus came across as uncomfortable in this role. Do not get me started on Chelan Simmons. Maybe she is a good actress, but her Jersey Girl routine and accent made me want to send her back to Staten Island with the rest of the cast of Jersey Shore.

I’m thinking my editor-in-chief must be mad at me. I mean, it’s like when Vince McMahon gets ticked at a wrestler, said wrestler suddenly jobs to 3MB or Khali. Perhaps McMahon got mad at the Miz, because Christmas Bounty was all sorts of holiday pain, and I do not mean the pain of eating too much. Miz alone which was the one and only salvation of this cheesy holiday flick. Miz is a good actor, and can carry a bad film like this one. The movie was supposed to be a story of true love and finding one’s heart to be at home. Instead the movie dragged on and confused the viewer if this was meant to be a family-story or just an excuse to take a stab at New Jersey stereotypes. The script was likely copied from a number of other cheesy ABC Family movies all with the same plot of a forlorn girl looking for her place in the world. Thankfully, this time around we can see even tough girls are still widdle mushballs at her and will never want to leave home again. Way to go ABC, remind girls everywhere they might as well never try to make something for themselves and their only purpose is to seek true love. I could have written a better script by taking a steaming dump and spreading it on paper.

Rating: ½ out of 5 because The Miz’s performance outclassed everyone else.

Photo Credit: WWE/Cate Cameron/ABC Family
Photo Credit: WWE/Cate Cameron/ABC Family