Bail Enforcers

Time to wade once again into the murky waters of ‘action movies starring wrestlers that aren’t The Rock.’ The plot, if you absolutely insist, is as follows. Jules (Trish Stratus, lady wrestler) and two other lunks, whom we shall refer to as Goofy and Emotey, are bounty hunters. While out hunting bounty, they hunt some bounty who informs them of some other bounty which would be worth $100,000 if hunted. So they go and hunt this other bounty, but a mafia boss wants this bounty so he offers them a million dollars for him. They refuse, as he’s very clearly planning to murder this poor chap, and they’re more used to their bounties being jailed than murdered. Chaos ensues..

It’s dreadful of course, but let’s put aside the script, performances and sound mixing – impressively awful though they may be – to talk about The Big Problem. As this is The Film that Stars a Girl Wrestler, Bail Enforcers likes to think that it’s empowering. Jules wisecracks and fights, like a proper lad. In the very first scene she takes out a man roughly three times her size. ‘Cor’, we say, ‘this attractive woman is so EMPOWERED, because unlike other women she can FIGHT the MEN. And it’s ok that she supplements her income by working as a waitress in a STRIP CLUB, because she’s just brutally beaten these men who touched her bottom. Even better, she’s now SAVAGELY BEATING this (unarmed) MAN because he called her a BITCH. Perhaps her SHINING EXAMPLE will encourage OTHER WOMEN to become POWERFUL FIGURES OF WOMANHOOD. I AM WOMAN WARRIOR, HEAR ME QUIP.’

All of which is, of course, deeply problematic, because nothing screams ‘misguided feminist intentions’ like an excessively masculine female protagonist. But there’s worse. Though she may start off in a butt-kicking leather ensemble, one slow motion changing room sequence (you heard) later and Jules is in full School Girl ensemble, her uniform for most of the rest of the film. The recovery of the $100,000 bounty takes place in a brothel filled with Japanese prostitutes, most of whom do little more than stand in lingerie then run in lingerie and scream a bit.

But worst of all is Jules’ transformation after the first act. When the deal goes bad, Jules is thrown off a building into a skip, then rushed to hospital: she’s not even around for the majority of the second act. From hereon in, men aren’t to be fought but to be rescued from. They even bring in a female hood – who’s swiftly bested in her first scene by a bloke – and it becomes Jules’ exclusive duty to fight her. It’s supposed to be sexy, but really it’s just an unspoken balance re-aligning.

The biggest insult comes last: Jules, Woman of Power, who we saw take down a seven foot body builder an hour ago, is put in a headlock by the fat, middle aged mafia boss. She’s helpless, until she’s saved by one of the men. Well done, WRESTLING.

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