26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Bounty Hunter (DVD)
There are a large number of movies released starring big name stars that just never seem to quite live up to their potential. The movie that is, not the stars. And I don't think it's the fault of the stars either. Some would say it's a combination of script, direction and more but in general I don't think its any one item. It's a combination of them all and perhaps just a lackluster idea that seemed better on paper. Such is the case with THE BOUNTY HUNTER.
Gerard Butler stars as Milo Boyd, a down on his luck bounty hunter deep in debt to bookies who never seems to have much luck. Having just caught a bail jumper the end result is a night in jail for torching a parade float on accident while attempting to catch the guy.
Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston) is a hot shot reporter who thinks she's on to a major story. An apparent suicide left behind too many questions that no one seems to be asking. As Nicole is about to go before a judge for an assault charge (what that involves is revealed later and it's not as funny as it should be) when she gets a call from an informant. Since she doesn't show for her hearing, her bail is revoked and she's a wanted fugitive.
Guess who gets to pick her up for jumping bail? Of course it's Milo, who also just happens to be Nicole's ex-husband. Yes the pair had a parting of the ways and one gets the idea that it wasn't an easygoing divorce. No, both parties seem to not think well of the other. And when Milo tosses Nicole into the trunk of his car to take her in, things don't get a lot better.
As the film moves forward, Milo eventually sees the problems that Nicole is having between trying to find clues to her story that might involve a best friend they both share as well as being shot at by someone who wants this story silenced. Along the way he keeps Nicole handcuffed to the bed at night and has to dodge his own problem, the bookies he owes money to. Somehow the only solutions to their problems is to stick together and figure things out.
This is the type of movie where you know from the first scene that a happy ending is just around the corner no matter how many guns are drawn and how many shots are fired. Goldie Hawn made several films in this genre including FOUL PLAY and BIRD ON A WIRE. A combination of agitation between the two main characters, remembering the past, romance, adventure and the chance that someone might separate the characters that were apart for good by the final reel. But that never happens.
Butler is coming along well with his career but his choices aren't always what he probably hoped for. He's taken a chance with comedy in a couple of films now and though he does an excellent job, he seems more suited for things like 300. Aniston has never seemed to make the leap from small to large screen like many actresses. Which is sad because she genuinely does a good job in everything she's done and this film is no exception.
So what's the problem? The directing is fine, the photography well done and the acting, as state, well above par. I think perhaps the problem lies in the script. The two characters reveal so little of themselves in a positive light that you tend not to care about them. You hope they get back together but know so little of them as the story unfolds. The small glimpses you get are very small indeed.
These are characters that we need to feel for, to understand, to want the best for and until late in the film we never have those emotions touched. Instead we witness two self absorbed people who whine about one another and blame each other for everything that went wrong. It's the Bickersons without the humor.
The laughs are short term and unmemorable. The action is predictable. And the whodunit that the movie surrounds itself around to make it all worthwhile isn't nearly as crafty as it would like us to believe.
All that being said, the movie isn't a bad film and definitely worth a dollar rental. Its just not one of those movies that you'll want to sit on the front shelf and pull down now and then. You may enjoy watching these two gifted actors perform well together once, but long term this isn't a movie you'll add to the collection unless you're a die hard Butler or Aniston fan. So enjoy the small amount of entertainment you get from this one and then let it fly. Perhaps the next movie that arrives in this genre will gel better than this one though.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 23, 2011 6:46:22 PM PST
"...I don't think it's the fault of the stars either" - I agree stars can't fix lousy script but as for Jennifer Aniston I can't watch movie with her in after her movie "Management". I did not buy "The Bounty Hunter" because I saw her on title and it turns out I was right. The movie got 2*.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012 4:58:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2012 8:12:56 AM PST
Mark O. Avery says:
Ditto.....couldn't go more than 10 minutes with "Management"
before bailing. "Derailed" was somewhat better (Clive kept me
going there), "Horrible Bosses" finally allows me to appreciate
Aniston as a big screen presence.
Commendable, on point review by the way.
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