Christmas Bounty (2013)

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The past comes back to haunt our central character in this fun holiday adventure.

Tory Bell is an elementary school teacher in New York City who has it all. A good job, a wonderful boyfriend, and a past that is about to come back to haunt her. A former bounty hunter, she had captured notorious mobster Manucci but she receives a call from him that he is out and he is gunning for her. She decides to cancel her holiday plans with her boyfriend James and return home to New Jersey.

Upon returning home, she reunites with her parents and brother as well as her former best friend Liz. However, what she didn’t expect is to reunite with her former partner and ex-boyfriend Mike. As they track down Manucci after learning her sister is planning to get married, Tory is in for the shock of a lifetime when James comes to Jersey to see Tory. To make matters worse, Mike admits he still has feelings for Tory. When James is kidnapped by Manucci to lure Tory out, Tory must do what it takes to stop him but must make a decision about her life.

This made-for-TV movie made with the help of WWE Studios is quite a fun holiday adventure that makes full use of its 73-minute running time. The film is a combination of rom-com and action adventure with the story of an ex-bounty hunter who is forced back in action when a crime boss she busted is released from prison with the intent of revenge. But that’s not going to be enough. Why not add a love triangle between her current rich-man boyfriend and bounty hunting-ex?

Francia Raisa is pretty good as Tory, the conflicted central character of our adventure. She goes from happy to shock in a matter of minutes when she receives the phone call. What is even more funny is that she finds herself surrounded by mostly comic relief, which helps drive the film. Her parents, played by Michael Hanus and April Telek, are quite funny together because despite their work as bounty hunters themselves, their part in attempting to hide Tory’s past from her current boyfriend is met with funny results at times. Will Greenberg is clueless as James, Tory’s boyfriend who loves her despite his parents’ reluctance.

However, as this is a WWE film, there has to be that one superstar who has to appear in the film and who better than Mike “The Miz” Mizanin as Mike, Tory’s ex-boyfriend and fellow bounty hunter. He still has feelings for her and yet at the same time, he is there to get the job done. Of course, when James puts himself in the picture, things are at first awkward, but it seems like a subliminal message at times to tell James that Tory is a good girl and that should she pick James, he better treat her right. So, there is that complication but it all ends well with the end credit sequence having a dance sequence between Raisa, The Miz, and Greenberg which at times looks hilarious…for a made-for-TV movie.

Christmas Bounty is a welcome mix of action adventure and well, Hallmark holiday film with an ample running time of 73 minutes and some fun performances by The Miz, Francia Raisa, and Will Greenburg in one of the wackiest love triangles in a holiday comedy.

WFG RATING: B

An ABC Family Presentation of a WWE Studios production. Director: Gil Junger. Producers: Michael J. Luisi, Stan Zimmerman, and James Berg. Writers: Claudia Grazioso, Andrew Black, and Vivian Lee. Cinematography: Philip Linzey. Editing: Dallas Puett.

Cast: Francia Raisa, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Will Greenberg, Michael Hanus, April Telek, Scott Patey, Aleks Paunovic, Chelan Simmons, Keith Dallas, Malcolm Stewart, Karen Kruper.

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