When I pick a film to review, I try to make an informed decision. As a film critic, I make sure that I am current on the happenings of films and try to know what’s going to be hot each weekend. Many times, it’s quite easy to tell which film is going to do well at the box office in its first weekend.
If it’s a sequel of a blockbuster film, it’s going to be number one. If it is based on a popular comic, television show, or remake of a popular film, chances are, it’s going to be number one. If its cast is made up of A-list celebrities, it’s going to be number one. Of course, this theory isn’t always 100 percent.
There is a margin for error in my decision-making; case in point, The Bounty Hunter, starring Jennifer Aniston as Nicole Hurley and Gerard Butler as her ex-husband, Milo Boyd. Milo is an ex-cop, now bounty hunter, still bitter about his divorce from Nicole, who has just jumped bail on a stupid charge. Milo, obviously still sweet on his ex, jumps at the opportunity to bring her into the nearest precinct in handcuffs. If only this pair had not pissed off a bookie and drug dealer, things would have gone a little smoother.
The film’s screenwriter, Sarah Thorp, is trying to write a film that is bright enough to grab a female audience, but with an alpha male protagonist to also grab some male action. Instead, she has watered down her plot to the point that its humor feels contrived. The film is supposed to be funny, but it’s not. The film is supposed to conjure up the passion of a hot feuding couple and it doesn’t.
What this plot does accomplish is to make this critic wonder why such talented, lovable, A-list stars even bothered with a mediocre script better suited for the Lifetime Movie Network.
Director Andy Tennant, who brought us gems as Fool’s Gold, Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama, Ever After, and Fools Rush In, is no stranger to directing hot, feuding couples. If only he had a better script to work with, then I wouldn’t have been bored with The Bounty Hunter half-an-hour into the film.
Aniston, whom I love as an actress, missed the mark on this one. Even her star wattage and killer fashion sense could not save this film from its tired existence. Also completely implausible is Nicole doing all of that running, walking, and sneaking around in four-inch heels. My feet hurt just watching her gray stilettos clickety-clack through the movie.
Butler, a total lady killer, does not do well as a sad sack, lovelorn ex-husband. I much prefer him as his character in The Ugly Truth; he’s the alpha male with just enough sensitivity to keep him sexy.
The only interesting character in this entire film is Christine Baranski’s Kitty Hurley, also known as Nicole’s sex kitten, showbiz mom. Every Kitty scene has a killer outfit, and Baranski’s slightly over-the-top take on her daughter’s life is hilarious. Kitty is quite the opposite of Baranski’s Diane Lockhart on “The Good Wife,” but definitely a welcome change.
Because I so like Butler and Aniston, I wish I could have liked The Bounty Hunter, but I didn’t. Not even its location in Atlantic City could excite me, or its geriatric audience. Hopefully, Butler and Aniston can redeem themselves with their next projects.