The Bounty Hunter (2010) Film Review
When two of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars take on leading roles, and a director who is no stranger to the arena of rom-coms team up, there’s bound to be a sappy romance. The Bounty Hunter is an attempt to see how many Hollywood clichés a writer can squeeze into its allotted time slot.
Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston) is on the trail of a hot story. One that could completely change the ruling of one man’s suicide. Another angle as she digs deeper may even reveal a high-ranking snitch at the police department. In trouble for “assaulting” a police officer but out on bail, Nicole is about to appear before the judge to argue her case when her source calls with urgent information about the supposed suicide. She ditches her lawyer to peruse what could be her biggest story since her career as an investigative reporter began.
Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is the laughing stock of his former precinct. He quits his respectable job as a detective because of personal struggles (and couch hopping). Now he fills his days hunting down “idiots” who have jumped bail. As a holiday weekend approaches, there’s nothing to keep him occupied. In his boredom, he accepts another job, this time the name is familiar. His target? To bring in a Nicole Hurley, who just happens to be his ex-wife. Giddy at the idea he can bring in his wife, Milo sets out to find her. So cure in his ability that he won’t even “break a sweat,” only he runs into more trouble than he’d bargains for…
Some movies have a “magic” spark that makes them work, whether it be the cast or script, some just have that “something” that makes the film seem special; and then some fail miserably. The Bounty Hunter isn’t really anything to wrote home about, but there is something “fun” about the premise. Likely there is some other title out there that would be compatible but in my experience, this was a “new” idea. Even with the dozens of clichéd romantic-comedy humor, there are a few surprises in this wild chase.
Unexpected for this plot, there is such a busy structure it becomes a hilarious little adventure. For example, not only do we have to see Nic and Milo’s personal issues resolved, but each have their own story unrelated to them reconnecting as a couple. Best of all, there is some entertaining laugh-out-loud antics that mirror old-fashioned humor known as slapstick.
The mystery is a nice touch as it heightens audiences’ senses making it surprising and engaging. More so than a will-they-or-won’t-they-be-together at films close. In a nutshell, this script is more than just a piece of “romantic fluff.” Typical of any production, this shares some poignant moments, primarily about mistakes, but not necessarily learning from them; and turns in a cute albeit sudden end.
Director Andy Tennant has a reputation for taking on this genre; a handful of his films count as favorite. He always relates the story in such a way that makes it too likable to notice repetitive twists. Going into this, I had some expectations, but at the same time I think low expectations were the name of the game. Though cute and fun, it’s not my favorite Tennant film.
Not being a fan of either star, thoughts on the cast is pretty ‘meh.’ Either way, they play their parts well enough. Except for the couple of scenes when Butler has to briefly step into detective mode; he does’t seem at ease in these scenes. They just don’t seem “authentic” (the way he held the gun, etc.). It’s really too bad that language masks this, because otherwise it makes for a fairly harmless, mindless night of entertainment.
Content; Rated PG13 for an onslaught of profanity, primarily using sh*t plus da**, including being coupled with God several time; bi*ch and a**. There are a couple of obscene gestures and crude references to male and female anatomy. A half-dozen or so sexual connotations and foreplay enters the script. One scene takes place in a dingy “club,” as the camera pans inside, there are several strippers/pole dancers in the background. Violence is more comical than anything however one scene involves a car chase where shots are fired at Milo and Nicole; one man is fatally shot, another wounded.