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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

The Bounty Hunter (review)

Okay, we get it. The Romantic Comedy has been, for some inexplicable reason, dumbed down and meaned up to the point where we just have to expect, as a matter of course, that a putatively hilarious popcorn flick about a bounty hunter who has to chase down his bail-jumping ex-wife will frame this particular battle of the exes in the nastiest way possible. There are dozens of witnesses to Gerard Butler’s (Law Abiding Citizen) brandishing of an automatic weapon in Jennifer Aniston’s (Love Happens) face and his subsequent dumping of her into the trunk of his car. Does anyone attempt to intervene on her behalf? (None of the bystanders know who he is or that he may, just barely, have the authority to do what he’s doing.) Does anyone call the police to report a violent kidnapping? Of course not. Because hey, movies like The Bounty Hunter have been telling us for years now that this sort of unpleasantness is akin to a spectator sport — like, for instance, the horseracing with which director Andy Tennant (the excruciating Fool’s Gold) intercuts Butler’s chasedown. It’s all in good fun. Except it isn’t. Perhaps Tennant ramped up the maliciousness as a distraction from the fact that his stars were evincing zero chemistry, but that only makes it even more unbearable when the ridiculous, contrived script — by Sarah Thorp, who wrote the terrible Twisted, which was at least hilariously awful — insists that these two unlikable and frankly idiotic people would fall in love all over again. Almost unimaginably, the mystery surrounding Aniston’s bail-jumping is even more poorly manufactured than the “romance” and the “comedy,” involving as it does apparent corruption in the NYPD and the preposterous notion that the New York Daily News — for which Aniston’s character is meant to be a reporter — is ever engaged in investigative journalism.

Watch The Bounty Hunter online using LOVEFiLM’s streaming service.

MPAA: rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine
  • Lisa

    It looks like one of those movies where violence towards women is a punchline.

  • FrankS

    You know, they could have spared the viewer a few extra minutes of pain if they just cut out Jason Sudeikis’ scenes. His character didn’t advance the story at all and wasn’t funny enough to add anything to the movie except maybe ten minutes of bloat.

  • Orangutan

    Wait, they actually tried to portray the Daily News as a legitimate newspaper and not a barely disguised gossip rag?

  • Somehow I suspect the “New York Times” passed on the chance to be associated with this movie.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, like The New York Times does investigative journalism anymore, either…

  • Steve Taylor

    Where was Noomi Rapace when we needed her in this piece of dross?

  • Jason M.

    I don’t get Jennifer Aniston. She was okay on “Friends,” I guess, and in “The Good Girl,” but for all the attention she gets, she hasn’t made one movie I’ve been compelled to take even a peek at, even for a rainy Sunday afternoon on cable. She’s more famous for being “red carpet mainstay Jennifer Aniston” than for her forgettable movies. And what’s sad is that if she ever did a serious, Oscar-bait movie, I guarantee she’d not only be nominated, but she’d win, because she’s been around long enough and people just love her, they’d say it’s her time. Yet for some reason, she’s still piddling around in these trifles.

    So I guess what I’m saying is no, I can’t say I’m interested in “The Bounty Hunter.”

  • Lisa

    she needs better roles and better men to fake romances with – Look at Clooney with that italian girl and he nearly won an oscar (again!?) this year!

    She was great in Friends and the Good Girl (the only film of hers I’ve seen in a theatre). She is truly funny and she only seems to get second banana roles/girlfriend roles in comedies – it’s hard to be a funny woman in movies and get good roles.

    Also THE WHOLE WORLD and this includes the publicists of Jolie, Pitt and Aniston need to leave that whole issue alone. I’m sure they’re all over it but it’s such an easy way to milk publicity for their upcoming whatevers.

  • RogerBW

    Remember, boys, if your woman runs out on you, hunt her down with guns and sundry violence and she’ll fall in love with you all over again.

  • LaSargenta

    MaryAnn, if I haven’t said so before now, thank you so much for suffering through things like this for me so that I don’t have to!

  • AJ

    How on Earth did you sit through the whole movie??!! I couldn’t stand the trailer when I saw it before a show.

  • Dan J

    I think Jen is really not interested in making a serious, Oscar-winning movie. With $150Million in the bank, she could easily hire a small army of screenplay reviewers to find the next hit film. Instead, I think Jen is at a point in her career where, if she wants to make a stupid, “fun” movie, she will, and she doesn’t give a rat’s a– about what anyone else thinks. She’s only in it for the money. And, as long as the movie makes a profit, who cares? We should, if we’re dumb enough to support that effort.

  • g3

    okay, i’m an idiot. i just rented it and watched it. and it was awful. and the biggest problem i had with it is what you pointed out in your review here (& no other reviewer i can find has) – that is the utter implausibility of the kidnapping in broad daylight at gun point in front of scores of people, and no one reported it to the police? come on. how ridiculous can you get? what on earth were the writers/directors thinking? i was also annoyed because there was no explanation, unless i missed it, of why milo/butler was no longer on the police force. don’t know why i cared, the movie was so lousy. or for that matter, why wasn’t jennifer aniston’s right hand at least numb from being deprived of blood overnight while handcuffed above her head? i could go on and on but i won’t. thanks for letting me vent.

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