In The Bounty Hunter, bounty hunter Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is thrilled when he's given his next assignment - his ex-wife, Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston). Meanwhile Nicole, a reporter, is working on a possible murder cover-up that's being treated like a suicide. When their two paths collide, they both end up in way over their heads. Oh brother!
I hope it didn't hurt as much reading that as it did writing it. Is there some sort of rule in Hollywood that says a romantic action-comedy must painfully adhere to the tired and worn out formula of "couple can't stand each other, until they get embroiled in a dangerous situation, which happens to bring them together." Is this a filmmaking law that I'm unaware of?
I can imagine some producer replying "well if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I agree with that sentiment in general, but it doesn't apply in this situation. This formula is irreparably broken, shattered beyond all recognition. I don't like being so negative, but the absolute worst part of The Bounty Hunter is how boring it is, and it's because we've seen it all before, a million times over.
I'm a big fan of Gerard Butler - when he's playing the proper role. He doesn't seem to do too well in lighthearted affairs. He was great in 300 and one of the only good things about Gamer. He's a capable actor and he has a certain intensity that makes him great in serious, explosive roles. In Bounty Hunter, he feels like a fish out of water. While he's totally believable in the title occupation, it's a little harder to swallow when he's joking around. Even his laugh sounds forced, as if he's incapable of being joyous. Butler has range, though I don't know if it extends to the happy-go-lucky.
Fans of Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green will love Nicole Hurley, as they both seem to be the same angry, high-strung characters. Jason Sudeikis as Nicole's co-worker and borderline stalker Stewart and Jeff Garlin as bail bondsman Sid are the two greatest things about the movie, as both men are very, very funny in whatever role they're thrown in. The same can be said for Siobhan Fallon as Teresa, who works with Sid. A scene where her and Milo swap chewing gum is one of the only actual laughs in the movie. And of course, Peter Greene is always a lot of fun to see.
But all of that talent is wasted in a completely uninspired, derivative plot where the clichés outnumber the laughs by at least two to one. Nothing in the film is remotely engaging or interesting and any major plot points are predictable to a fault. There are worse movies than Bounty Hunter, but not a whole lot.
I'm not sure what group of people I would recommend The Bounty Hunter to. Logic says those who enjoy romantic action-comedies, but those fans would probably recognize more clichés than anyone. Jennifer Aniston fans who have been down in the dumps ever since Friends ended will definitely like seeing the Rachel Green character again, but unfortunately she's trapped in a bad movie and not given any good material to work with.
What do you think of The Bounty Hunter
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