Meet Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston). She's a journalist who is on the beat attempting to uncover the mystery behind a recent man's alleged suicide. Oh, and she's also a felon. Not too long ago, she was arrested for assaulting a police officer and her court date is fast approaching, too fast it seems because she skips bail and finds herself on the lam from the cops. Now meet Milo (Gerard Butler), a bounty hunter who specializes in finding fugitives and taking them to jail. His newest assignment: capture Nicole. At first, he is ecstatic because Nicole is actually his ex-wife and really, who wouldn't want to drag their ex-wife to jail? However, somebody is out to take her life because she is getting too close to the truth behind the suicide and Milo finds himself way over his head. He must protect her and deal with her annoying eccentricities, but he can't help but begin to fall in love with her all over again.
And thus begins the abomination that is The Bounty Hunter. Like Cop Out before it, this film has a poor flow, an uninteresting story, bland enemies and annoying leads. It's funnier than Cop Out though, which is to say there's one good joke. The rest is a mind numbing rom-com that isn't worth the dried up gum underneath the seat you'll be watching it on.
When it comes to any type of movie like this, whether it be a buddy cop film or a romantic comedy, the lead characters must be likable. Spending your two hours with them should be fun. You should find yourself laughing at their jokes, enjoying their zany quirks and caring about them if they are in peril. I wanted, however, to kill these two characters myself. They are both loud, obnoxious and practically begging for us to like them. Their attempts to satisfy the audience come off as desperate and grating. Butler's character is merely throwaway, not in the way a less prominent character would be, but because I couldn't care less about what happened to him and the only interesting thing about Aniston's character is that you could occasionally see through her shirt when the lighting was right.
The saddest part of this debacle is that the premise is ripe for the picking, and I suspect is the sole reason it got greenlit to begin with. A bounty hunter male capturing his ex-wife and taking her to jail has so much potential, yet it would take a revamp of the entire movie--rewrites, reshoots, recasts--to make this thing tolerable.
Butler and Aniston produce no chemistry together because Aniston is only funny when supported by funny people and Butler is not one of them. He's an actor I have much respect for. I loved 300 and he even managed to convince me of his acting prowess in silly films like Law Abiding Citizen and Gamer, but for some reason he seems compelled to take roles in gag-inducing rom-com tripe, not the least of which includes last year's atrocious The Ugly Truth, and he simply isn't very good in any of them.
In a year that has thus far been unexceptional, The Bounty Hunter does little to turn the tide. It's shallow, predictable and it always takes the easy route, going for fast zingers, yet keeping it clean to keep its precious PG-13 rating (despite a trip to a topless strip club where the dancers are all, for some reason, fully covered). This thing has no gravitas, no guts, no redeeming factors and is unworthy of your time.
The Bounty Hunter receives 0.5/5