Movie Review: The Bounty Hunter
We’ve been watching Gerard Butler struggle wit his American accent for the past several years, but that’s the least of his worries in The Bounty Hunter as he and the usually dependable Jennifer Aniston have trouble inspiring any sort of comedic reaction in the witless comedy.
The toughest part about writing a movie review is often keeping the plot summary concise and coherent. That’s not the case here. When Nicole (Aniston) skips out on her court hearing, a bounty hunter is hired to track her down. The “funny” part is that this bounty hunter is her ex-husband, Milo (Butler). That’s pretty much it. While there are a few sub-plots thrown in to complicate matters, they are never really any concern to us.
The Bounty Hunter is a formulaic romantic comedy through and through. It attempts to masquerade around as more than that, throwing in a few “comedic” action sequences and a shot of Aniston groping herself in an attempt to appeal to the male audience, but it remains bound by the restrictions of its formula.
That’s not necessarily the problem. The fact that the romance is almost non-existent and the laughs are few and far between is. The story is so cliché and unfunny that to call it cliché would be a cliché in and of itself. Gee, do you think there’s a chance these two angry ex’s might end up getting back together at the end? That would be the most shocking ending since The Usual Suspects! Sorry if I’m giving anything away there.
All of the movie’s gags feel like they were lifted from funnier scenes in much funnier movies. We’ve got all the standards – handcuffs, tasers, gambling and horse tranquilizers. Oh wait, there goes golf cart crashing into a water hazard… classic!
There are a few mildly entertaining supporting characters, but none of them are developed enough to catch any of our interest. It’s not their fault. In fact, the movie’s pitfalls are never the fault of the actors. They seem to be trying their hardest to make the material provided by Sarah Thorp’s screenplay work. The script is such a bland turkey that even these typically likable performers are unable to inject any sort of zest into it.
It’s truly astonishing that someone could write The Bounty Hunter with the thought that it would incite any level of hilarity. It sure tries hard, and we can tell when we are supposed to laugh. We just don’t.
There’s an episode of South Park in which Ned and Jimbo are hunting animals simply to “thin out their numbers.” Their rationale is that:
“If we don’t hunt, these animals will grow too big in number and they won’t have enough food. So you see, we have to kill animals, or else they’ll DIE.”
This approach should be taken with movies like The Bounty Hunter. There simply aren’t enough weekends in a year to continue to process these awful rom-coms. It’s pure overkill. Stinkers like this one should have been shot down at the point of inception and never been given the green light. Please, the future of the genre depends on it!
Watch instead: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Raising Arizona, Grosse Pointe Blank.