Jan 23, 2012

[Movies] The Bounty Hunter (2010)

It's interesting how a lot of what we perceive to be "action heroes" (perhaps based on their physique and initial movie roster at times) tend to make for interesting romantic leads as well. There seems to be a natural tendency to have such actors bounce between those two genres in an effort to give them some sense of range and of course reap the benefits of cross-genre movie marketing.

Gerard Butler is interesting in that regard since he has a pretty diverse movie background to begin with. While a lot of folks associate him with the testosterone-fueled movie 300, he's also the same guy involved in the Phantom of the Opera movie and others. He's probably not a "hardcore" action hero per se, but he does seem to have the proficiency (and the physical build) for it. But at the same time he seems to have a genuine enjoyment for romantic comedies, despite their lackluster performance at the box office.

Admittedly I wasn't in the mood for anything too serious when we sat down to watch this movie. We pretty much just watched it so I'd have something to review for today. It wasn't the most amazing movie by any right and I can see why it didn't do too well.

The Bounty Hunter is a 2010 action comedy movie directed by Andy Tennant with a screenplay by Sarah Thropp. In terms of awards, the movie was nominated for a total of 4 Razzie Awards including Worst Picture, but it didn't manage to "win" any of them.

This shot of Gerard Butler was taken back in t...
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We start with a little chase scene involving former policeman-turned-bounty-hunter Milo (Gerard Butler). His job as a bail enforcement officer is all he has to help him pay for his mounting gambling debts. On the other hand we have investigative reporter Nicole (Jennifer Aniston) who has been arrested for assaulting a police officer. But since she's still hot on the trail of a story, she opts to skip a bail hearing in order to meet up with an contact. Naturally this leads to a full warrant for her arrest, and thus you can see where this movie is going to go.

Thus Milo eventually learns of the contract to bring in Nicole, who turns out to be his ex-wife, for a $5,000 bounty. And being her ex-husband, he naturally has a bit of a personal advantage in getting a lead on her. And thus capturing her is easy enough - but keeping her is another thing entirely. Plus the fact that Nicole's story about a suicide that may actually be a murder means there are other groups interested in apprehending her for completely different reasons.

The initial premise probably had some promise. Bounty hunter offered money to capture his ex-wife. I can imagine that working in the pitch meeting or whatever and everyone getting excited about it. But then the rest of the story built around it lacked a lot of sufficient flash and sensibility. And a lot of the romantic comedy aspects to the movie were also lost in the shuffle things.

The movie lacked any real wit to it, which I'll always feel is essential to any more. Sure, both Butler and Aniston are pretty enough to look at. But then the lack of great dialog coupled with somewhat lackluster delivery made for a movie that never really engaged me. And I need that for a comedy to work - something that still exercises the brain without demanding that I play connect the dots with the different plot lines.

I just didn't get the whole investigative reporter angle. Maybe I just don't buy into the idea that Jennifer Aniston can play a reporter. Or perhaps the whole story just didn't really hold water, as far as such crime-themed stories go. It made for a lousy counterpoint to the slightly humorous chase and escape cycling scenes and thus when put all together is just made for a bit of a mess.

The movie was just so many different flavors of meh. It wasn't just bad in itself. It just wasn't all that great either. All the different bits just felt more and more boring and all together it was a lot of boring. You know the movie is bad when the sight of a shirtless of Gerard Butler doesn't captivate your attention as much as it should, probably because the scenes prior had already liquefied your brain.

The Bounty Hunter is a movie that was put together based on market research instead of an honest desire to tell an interesting story - at least that's how it seems to me. It barely gets 1.5 borderline funny moments of Gerard chasing after Jennifer out of a possible 5.
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