It was too good to be true: a whole month of above average and excellent movies. March almost accomplished it, then ‘this’ came along. But if there was a positive side to The Bounty Hunter (and trust me, it is difficult to see one) it’s that films like this are necessary for us to really appreciate the good releases.
Jennifer Aniston of Friends fame (and not really much else) stars along side Gerard Butler (who, fair play to him, has tried most genres. But he will always be known for “This.. Is..Spartaaa!”) as a divorced/separated couple whos paths cross again when Butler, the Bounty Hunter mentioned in the title, is given the dream job of finding his ex-wife and bringing her to prison. Not only are we blessed with such a great narrative, we are given another sub plot, as Ms. Aniston gets herself in a whole heap of trouble after skipping bail to pursue a hot lead, (she’s a reporter, so that’s pronounced “leed” rather than “ledd”) which turns out to be a murder cover up. I know, the two stories are dramatically different: one, a lighthearted chase with a pair of juvenile adults, and the other a grisly crime that shakes the foundations of a close friendship as trust is broken and lives are endangered. Maybe if it was advertised this way, there would have been more interest.
The film had some pre-release buzz due to the reports that Butler and Aniston became a couple in real life due to meeting on the set of this movie. There wasnt any sign of romance in the scenes they shared.
Seriously, a simple 5 minute montage to show just how in love they were when married would have worked wonders. Instead, we get the a basic “we were married” and some occasional references to their past connection (Cupid’s Cabin) but no real feeling that Butler is enjoying every minute of the punishment he can give to his ex. Story aside, the humour here is pretty terrible. And I wasn’t the only one to think this; the rest of the (full) auditorium barely made a noise. The pinnacle of humour was Butler wearing multicoloured clothing. To be fair, a few minor characters raised a smile, but that was mainly due to their accents.
Overall, The Bounty Hunter is not as bad as the trailer promises it to be. It is worse. It’s like a knowingly choosing a Kinder egg without the toy, but finding the chocolate has been spat on and you still eat it.
Now doesn’t that sound pleasant?