Loading…
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeA&EMovies
Published: Friday, 3/19/2010

Movie review: The Bounty Hunter **1/2

BY ROGER MOORE
ORLANDO SENTINEL
Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston in 'The Bounty Hunter' Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston in 'The Bounty Hunter'
Enlarge

Three films into his romantic comedy career, Gerard Butler has finally reached "watchable." With The Bounty Hunter, the bemused Scots leading man comes closer to setting off sparks with his newest leading lady, Jennifer Aniston. Well, closer than he came with Hilary Swank (P.S. I Love You) or Katherine Heigl (The Ugly Truth).

The comedy isn't much better than Butler's earlier outings. (The Ugly Truth was a critically reviled box-office hit.) But at least Aniston, when she has to, can faintly recall the timing and energy it takes to fake the comic charm she had on TV's Friends.

Butler plays an ex-cop with a gambling problem and an ongoing grudge against his ex-wife, Nicole, a career-minded New York Daily News reporter. Nowadays, Milo Boyd is a bounty hunter, tracking down crooks who skip out on bail, handcuffing them even if he has to chase them, on stilts, through the middle of a July 4th parade.

When Nicole (Aniston) misses a court date and her bail bondsman (Jeff Garlin) is out $50,000, Milo takes the gig. "It's KARMA!" he crows.

But a reporter on a big story involving murder and corruption won't be easy to track. Unless, of course, you used to be married to her. When Milo finds her, he's a good sport.

"Tell you what. You want to make a break for it, I'll give you a 10-second head start, for old time's sake!"

Thus begins a cross-state odyssey in which a killer, the cops, a smitten fellow reporter (Jason Sudeikis, kind of funny) and enforcers for a bookie (Cathy Moriarty) chase our never-compatible-couple, two people whose "trust issues" aren't resolved by Milo's handcuffs.

Aniston doesn't bring her old A-game to this. But at least she's not quiet and reserved and no-energy, her approach to too many roles of late. Butler makes the most of his Neanderthal rut — too many roles that rely on the twinkle in his eye, his manly voice and manly stubble.

Of the many recognizable supporting players, only the formidable Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia!) scores.

Director Andy "Fool's Gold" Tennant makes sure the whole shooting match devolves into a shooting match, which only makes one appreciate Butler's romantic comedy efforts more. If he's co-starring with Jen, at least he's not making another Gamer. Or Law Abiding Citizen.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.