The Bounty Hunter, 2010
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Christine Baranski, Natalie Morales, Peter Greene, Cathy Moriarty,
A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure.
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Another reminder that sometimes even when past films have done the exact same story, same type of character, same premise, doesn’t mean the same pay off. While the idea of a bounty hunter having to bring in his ex-wife may seem interesting on paper, it really doesn’t amount to anything worth your time on screen, especially when your lead actors have little to no chemistry and the jokes are not only old and stale, but just fall flat.
Jennifer Aniston seems to have found her niche in playing hapless single woman seeking love only to settle for something they weren’t expecting. Butler too has found a home in the romantic comedy world, playing the same guy he did in the Ugly Truth only less successful. But for both actors to play the same roles is fine, if that’s what they want. Hugh Grant can’t seem to play any role other than the bumbling charismatic and geeky guy who stumbles into love. If it works, it works. Just don’t expect the audience to feel the same.
The problem however comes from the material, and although both Aniston and Butler are fine in their performances, there’s really nothing to go on here. Every cliché joke, one liner, adventure, has all been done before in other films, ones that were likely just as bad. There’s nothing to admire here. It’s one cliché after another and absolutely, positively, no character development. Then again, if after 15 minutes you were expecting development of any kind, you went to see the wrong movie. Up in the Air is out on DVD.
Aniston can be funny. It’s been scientifically proven in other films. So, what happened? Well, she runs a lot, gives verbal jabs at her ex hubby, wears sexy outfits to remind us she still has the goods, if you care, and can throw one mean punch where it hurts. Did I miss anything? Oh right, constant bickering between her and Gerald. How could I forget?
Nichole (Aniston) was dating Milo (Butler) at one point, both having careers, the former being a Daly News reporter and the latter a police officer. However, their relationship suffers when Nicole puts all her attention on her career leading to the inevitable breakup between the two. Now a down on his luck bounty hunter, Milo is given the task to bring in his ex wife after she skipped out on her bail. To him this is a dream job, to her a complete nightmare. Their journey through the state of New Jersey provides the typical fighting, physical and verbal, and when their done for the moment, the director doesn’t forget some nice scenery shots of the Tony Sopranos backyard. For those that saw the Ugly Truth, and it enjoyed it, they will likely enjoy this too. It’s same idea where the two characters dislike each other only to discover that maybe they’re not so different after all. Maybe they love each other? Be happy together? It would be great if one of these films, some day, go the opposite way. Where either they truly destroy one another, or if not, develop a relationship and at the end rediscover that they’re really not meant to be together. That would be an ending, especially the former idea.
But no, for the Bounty Hunter, the poster alone tells you everything you need to know about the film, beginning, middle, and end. Don’t bother rushing out to see this one, wait for it to hit cable soon. It’ll be the one playing after the Ugly Truth.