The Bounty Hunter is an abominable waste of time. Here we have a film with two stars that have no chemistry, no laughs, no romance, and boring “action” sequences. Coming up with justification for its existence is nearly impossible. The premise would seem to offer up some promising black comedy potential, but from frame one this disaster is on autopilot. Cliches are utilized as if they are napkins and the two stars clearly could care less about any of it, except the paycheck.
Milo (Butler) is an ex-cop turned bounty hunter. His latest case: apprehend his ex-wife, newspaper reporter Nicole (Aniston), who has jumped bail after a small traffic violation (are bounty hunters really sent for such miniscule infractions? Nevermind). It turns out Nicole is smack in the middle of a suicide investigation, and soon the two find themselves joining forces to solve that case. Will their romantic feelings resurface? Will they crack the case? Will anyone care?
The answer is no. This is a highly detestable film, and it starts with the completely unlikeable leads. Milo is a slob who makes it hard to believe he’s ever had a job at all. Nicole is a snooty reporter who treats everyone like dirt. Add on to that every cliché in the comedy/action/romance canon (a golf cart even crashes into a lake) and you have a very boring and very enraging experience. The attempts to rekindle the couple’s relationship are laughable, as they mainly take turns being handcuffed to various objects.
Gerard Butler, complete with permanent five-o’clock shadow, continues to get these kinds of roles despite the fact that he overacts almost all of the time. The screenplay sinks him even further here. Jennifer Aniston, who is more tabloid fodder than an actress at this point, once again turns in a “Rachel” performance. She plays with her hair, does her snappy voice, and tip-toes her way through the whole movie. The supporting actors are all thinly-drawn caricatures.
I hated this movie. It’s lazy, it’s annoying, and it lasts a lifetime at 110 minutes. The director here is Andy Tennant, who has a real rap sheet of questionable romantic comedies. This is likely his worst effort yet, and makes his Hitch look like a masterpiece in comparison. Only a few films come along each year that literally offers nothing to anyone, and this is one of them. It’s sure to be a stone cold lead pipe lock for my bottom ten of 2010.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Length: 110 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence.
Theatrical Release: March 19, 2010
Directed by: Andy Tennant
Written by: Sarah Thorp
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Jeff Garlin, Jason Sudeikis, Christine Baranski