The Bounty Hunter makes The Ugly Truth look like the right stuff.
Again comes a film that reminds the viewer of the shocking state in which the American romantic comedy has found itself in. While there have been exceptions to the rule (500 Days of Summer, Definitely, Maybe), it is hard pressed to find a more maligned sub-genre in cinema today.
Not that The Bounty Hunter indicated a change in direction. Yet is it too much to ask for a little effort?
That question is answered within the first minute, when a punch to the balls stands tall as an indicator of exactly what type of film the viewer should expect: a stomach curling low blow void of intelligence and creativity.
The problem, of course, lies within its “script”, so quoted since it’s obvious that screenwriter Sarah Thorp hasn’t so much handed in a screenplay filled with dialogue and direction, but rather a pitch anchored with the distraction of having its characters utter words (grunts would have been more effective).
The films premise is one which many a movie studio with tax write off dollars to spend would have thought to be a worthy “investment”: Aniston. Butler. Rom-com. Tabloid driven marketing. Fans of said tabloids purchasing tickets.
That Andy Tennant was brought in to direct isn’t a surprise. He also directed other “good looking people in high concept rom-coms” Fool’s Gold and Sweet Home Alabama. The Bounty Hunter fits nicely in his resume.
Gerard Butler plays Milo, an ex-cop turned bounty hunter with gambling debts to pay. Jennifer Aniston plays Nicole, a journalist working a big case who, in typical Hollywood fashion, lives a lifestyle far too rich for her profession. She is also Milo’s ex-wife.
Due to circumstances not worth getting into, she becomes a fugitive and Milo is charged with the task of bringing her in. They bicker, flirt, fight crime, and fall back in love, in that order. (Sure, a spoiler alert was warranted, but who are we kidding?)
Filling in the gaps is a nonsensical story about police corruption, played out by a supporting cast of annoying characters typical in such dross.
Exactly why Butler and Aniston, two actors who had promising potential, continue to succumb to such drivel is a mystery.
Aniston, once lauded as the one to watch post-Friends, seems content to have her ass, cleavage, and hair do all of the work.
Butler, meanwhile, continues to prove that by taking on American comedies, he is a poor comedic actor with an even worse American accent.
What should have been its strength, and what is indeed its drawcard, is the pairing of these two alluring stars sexing it up on screen. But whatever chemistry was supposed to ignite during The Bounty Hunter just isn’t there, with whatever passion present holding as much depth as the tabloid romance it inspired.
What is left is an emotionless and unfunny rom-com, a Z grade Midnight Run that is too long, way beyond boring, and marks new lows for the careers of everyone involved.