The Bounty Hunter
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Having watched the promos for The Bounty Hunter and not being a big Jennifer Aniston fan, I really had no interest in seeing this film when it hit the theaters. After hearing the critics repeatedly bash the movie, I had resolved never to see it, but, of course, things get complicated when renting movies with friends. Thus, it was with the look of utter pain that I left the video store with a copy of The Bounty Hunter last weekend.
The movie begins with Gerard Butler driving along a highway, happily singing along with the music playing on his car radio, when he suddenly notices smoke is pouring into the vehicle. Pulling over, he goes directly to the trunk of his car and pops it open only to have Jennifer Aniston jump out of the trunk, lit flare in hand. A chase ensues ending in Butler tackling Aniston.
Flash back to down on his luck former NYPD cop turned bounty hunter Milo Boyd (Butler) accepting a job to capture his crime reporter ex-wife, Nicole Hurley (Aniston) who has jumped bail, skipping out on a criminal court date to meet with an informant with information about a suspicious suicide. As the movie plays on we learn that the suspicious suicide may in fact be a drug-related murder involving dirty NYPD cops, specifically NYPD Detective Bobby Jenkins (Dorian Missick), a close friend of Boyd and Hurley.
What follows is a cat catches mouse, mouse runs away from cat, cat re-captures mouse game, all while solving a murder, which predictably leads to Hurley and Boyd discovering that they still have feelings for one another.
Surprisingly, after the first couple of scenes, I found myself chuckling. Eventually, I found myself laughing out loud. Although predicable, The Bounty Hunter is actually rather entertaining. Iíve seen Gerard Butler in numerous films now and believe he carries himself well in both action films and romantic comedies. The Bounty Hunter is a mix of both and Butler is well suited for his role. Jennifer Aniston is best when playing a role that is most like the sarcastic and bossy Rachel, the role she perfected on the television show Friends. Anistonís role as Nicole Hurley is Rachel in the same city, with a change of job scenery. The fact that Butler and Aniston have decent on-screen chemistry makes their charactersí romance quite believable.
The funniest scenes, however, feature Jason Sudeikis as Stewart, a co-worker of Nicoleís who believes that their drunken work party kiss means that they have an on-going romantic relationship. The trouble he gets himself into trying to ďrescueĒ his love from certain peril is hilarious. Christine Baranski is also quite funny as Kitty Hurley, Nicoleís perverted nightclub singer mother. Peter Greene is predictable as the ultimate bad guy in this film. He has played a bad guy in every movie Iíve ever seen him in, so it was easy to peg him as the big baddie of the film.
Donít get me wrong, the critics were correct in noting some problems with the film. For one thing, how often are bounty hunters offered the opportunity to hunt down family members, ex or otherwise? Some of the action scenes are a little over the top. And just how does Nicole survive in the smoke filled trunk of Miloís car with a lit flare without suffering from burns or smoke inhalation. She appears to be breathing just fine as she jumps out of the car and takes off running alongside the highway.
However, what critics tend to forget is that comedies donít necessarily have to be realistic in their funniness. Take the old Abbott and Costello movies for instance. Those movies had ridiculously unbelievable storylines added to slapstick comedy and they were not only entertaining, they were absolutely hilarious. Thatís what The Bounty Hunter is: a fun movie with a ridiculous storyline filled with slapstick comedy and incredible situations. Sometimes thatís all you need when looking for some decent entertainment. The critics may not have liked it, but The Bounty Hunter was enjoyable enough for me.