Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Review: The Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter *
Directed by:
Andy Tennant.
Written By: Sarah Thorp.
Starring: Jennifer Aniston (Nicole Hurley), Gerard Butler (Milo Boyd), Jason Sudeikis (Stewart), Adam Rose (Jimmy), Christine Baranski (Kitty Hurley), Dorian Missick (Bobby), Jeff Garlin (Sid), Siobhan Fallon (Teresa), Cathy Moriarty (Irene), Carol Kane (Dawn), Edward Mitchell (Jonathan).

I am officially sick and tired of romantic comedies where the two leads spend almost the entire movie hating each other, but discover in the end that they are really in love. This is pretty much every romantic comedy, but really, at this point there is nothing new to get out of this genre, that was perfected make in the 1930s, and has simply been copied ever since – seemingly with less and less originality and comic verve with each passing decade. I still believe that you can make a good movie in this vein, if the screenplay is clever and funny enough, but there really hasn’t been one in years now. But I guess, as long as people keep going to these movies, and with my wife enjoying at least some of them, I will continue to be stuck going to them to.

The most recent example is The Bounty Hunter, which has a promising premise, but cannot find anything remotely clever or funny to do with it. Milo (Gerard Butler) is an ex-police officer now making his living as bounty hunter. One day, he is assigned a case that he cannot turn down. He is to track down his recent ex-wife Nicole (Jennifer Aniston) and bring her to jail and he’ll get $5,000. He has gambling debts, so he needs the money. Plus, who doesn’t want to throw their ex in jail?

Tracking Nicole down is the easy part. The hard part is getting her to jail. She is a reporter who for reasons that the film never explains, is looking into a suicide that she thinks was really a murder. It appears like whoever was behind the murder, does not appreciate the extra attention, and is determine to stop her – by any means necessary. So Milo and Nicole are stuck out on the road between Atlantic City and New York, him trying to get her back to the big city, her still trying to get her story, and some very bad men on the trail.

At this point, you could probably write the rest of the screenplay for this movie yourself, and you probably couldn’t do much worse than what makes it way to the screen. The real reason the movie doesn’t work is because there is absolutely no chemistry between Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston. Butler just doesn’t have the right stuff to play in a romantic comedy – he isn’t charming or funny enough to pull this type of role off. And Aniston still seems to think that she should play every character in the exact same way she played Rachel on Friends. It worked there, but it doesn’t work here.

When you add the lack of chemistry with the piss poor screenplay (really, when you cast comedic performers like Jason Sudeikis, Jeff Garlin, Christine Baranski and Carol Kane and still can’t get a real laugh in your movie, you know the material is weak) and the utterly poor direction by Andy Tenant (I am not one that normally complains about editing, unless it’s so rapid fire like in a Michael Bay movie that I have no idea what the hell is happening, but sweet Jesus, the editing in this thing is awful!) and it adds up to a movie as painful as this one was to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment