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Bounty Hunter, The (2010)

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Score: 5/10

Genre: Romantic Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.

Release Date: March 19th, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Andrew Tennant Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Jeff Garlin, Jason Sudeikis, Christine Baranski

F

rom the primary story arc to the midway mystery to the obligatory break-ups and make-ups, everything in “The Bounty Hunter” is extremely predictable.  However, just because audiences know what will inevitably happen, it doesn’t mean the process can’t be entertaining.  Thanks to Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston’s immediate chemistry, the film manages to mask many of its shortcomings and succeed as a romantic comedy.  Unfortunately, the action, suspense, and murder mystery aspects don’t fare as well.

Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) recently divorced his wife Nicole (Jennifer Aniston) and lost his job as a New York police detective.  Now garnering little respect from the law and owing large sums of money for gambling mishaps, Milo attempts to make ends meet as a bounty hunter.  His luck having all but run out, Milo finds a unique opportunity for payback when his ex-wife skips out on bail and he’s given the job of bringing her in.  When he apprehends the feisty newspaper reporter, tempers fly – but so do the sparks – and what begins as a simple job turns into a wild chase, a desperate escape, and a chance at finding love once again.

So many films suffer in the villain department – and “The Bounty Hunter” is no different.  The protagonists’ floundering marriage could have been conflict enough, but several side plots introduce bad guys that are neither interesting nor original in any way.  Not only are they overly stereotypical, but also it appears they were intentionally modeled that way; the actors employed don’t visually deviate from the expected and tend to always portray the same criminals in every film.

While the storyline includes an abundance of lackluster antagonists, it also has the decency to embrace a wide range of supporting characters for complementery comic relief.  Jeff Garland’s brief appearance as Milo’s boss and his bail bond secretary’s (Siobhan Fallon) cynicism are appreciated, as are Nicole’s mother’s (Christine Baranski) glib demeanor and creepy co-worker Stewart’s (Jason Sudeikis) misfortunes.  They all provide amusement without infringing on the leads’ center stage sauciness.

“The Bounty Hunter” follows suit in the popular blending of romance with macho settings and adventurous situations. But while the verbiage keeps the innuendo high, convenient appropriateness has the leading lady keep her clothes on at all times (even the dancers in a strip club scene strangely refrain from showing off the goods).  Unless one abhors the stars, the predictability, or the genre, “The Bounty Hunter” isn’t a bad escape for the reasonably indiscriminate or from Aniston’s recently dismal offerings.

– Joel Massie

 



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