Film Review with Robert Mann – The Bounty Hunter


The Bounty Hunter *

The latest high concept romantic comedy (although perhaps one with less emphasis on romance and more on the comedy) is one that genuinely has the potential to stand out from the crowd. The first of two films that could perhaps be described as romantic action comedies – the other being April’s Date Night – the basic concept for The Bounty Hunter – a bounty hunter who finds himself having to arrest his ex-wife – is one that just screams of comic potential. And the people involved in The Bounty Hunter certainly have the credentials to delvier on such promise. Director Andy Tennant previously helmed the great Will Smith romcom Hitch, and both of the film’s leads are talented and charismatic performers who certainly have what it takes to get the inter-character dynamic right. But following a string of mediocre romcoms from equally talented directors and stars in the past year does The Bounty Hunter truly collect on his bounty?

After getting kicked out of the police force, Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is reduced to taking a job as a bounty hunte for bail bondsman Sid (Jeff Garlin). To Milo’s amusement, he is assigned to track down his own ex-wife, Nicole Hurly (Jennifer Aniston). A feisty investigative reporter, Nicole is not at all pleased to see Milo back in her life. “What I do is I hunt down idiots who jump bail,” Milo tells her with evident relish. But if he thinks it’s going to be an easy payday, he’s forgotten how resourceful – and downright infuriating – his ex can be. As Nicole quickly gives him the slip to chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo goes after her. Soon the couple are scrapping just like old times – but then they find themselves on the run for their lives…



With The Bounty Hunter director Andy Tennant attempts to combine elements of the romance, comedy and action genres and his attempt fails miserably. As a romance the film is lacking in much that is actually romantic, the romance between the two leading characters constantly being sidelined for the other elements of the story and the chemistry between Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston only ever being decent and never truly convincing or entertaining, mostly due to Aniston proving quite bland in her role her, the only thing she really brings to the film being her looks. Gerard Butler does fare pretty well, though, at least on his own, clearly enjoying the role and delivering a performance that is genuinely pretty entertaining. As a comedy the film is lacking in much that is particularly funny. A number of genuinely quite talented comedy performers – including Jeff Garlin, Jason Sudeikis, Christine Baranski and Siobhan Fallon – appear but are completely wasted because of a weak script that boasts a poorly constructed and wholly predictable plot, weak and unmemorable dialogue and mostly one dimensional characterisation, not to mention failing to provide any genuine laughs in either the gags or the dialogue, both of which seem cheap and very obvious. The funniest things in the film are probably Jennifer Aniston tazering Gerard Butler and the two crashing a golf kart into a pond – that is just how unsuccessful this film is in the humour department. As an actioner the film is low on thrills, the action sequences being extremely low octane and unlikely to even come close to providing the adrenaline rush that action fans seek from their films. A major problem with the film is not only that the different, disparic elements are unseccessful individually but also that they really don’t gel together, the overall product seeming like several different films stuck together. Still, it is really a case of several poor films rather than just one. Attempts to cater to several opposing demographics fail, delivering nothing that will truly satisfy any of its target audiences. So, overall, The Bounty Hunter is a film that is unsatisfying on all fronts. Completely failing to live up to the promise and potential of its concept or even do anything with the battle of the sexes format, this is another hugely underwhelming romcom coming out of Hollywood that sees a director with a good track record turn out a complete misfire. Do not pay the bounty on this one, it really has nothing to offer.

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Review by Robert Mann BA (Hons)

© BRWC 2010.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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