The Bounty Hunter Review
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I will never understand Jennifer Aniston’s career. More than 15 years ago, when Friends premiered, the entire country fell head-over-heels in love with her—and for good reason. She’s adorably accessible—the fun-loving girl next door, only prettier. Yet, for some reason, despite years of success on Friends, she just can’t seem to make a great movie. Sure, she tends to lean toward romantic comedies, but there are plenty of good romantic comedies out there. She just can’t seem to find them. And her latest is no exception.

In The Bounty Hunter, Jen plays Nicole Hurley, a New York reporter who’s so busy investigating a suspicious suicide that she misses a court date. As she’s off searching for a kidnapped informant, her bail is revoked and a bench warrant is issued for her arrest. And that’s where Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) comes in.

  
 
Milo is a bounty hunter. And when he’s assigned to Nicole’s case, he’s absolutely thrilled—not only because he needs the money to pay off some long-overdue gambling debts but also because Nicole is his ex-wife. And what could be more therapeutic than carting your ex off to jail?

Of course, the job turns out to be easier said than done. Nicole has no intention of letting Milo take her in—not while she’s working on a big story. And the squabbling exes soon discover that they’re not alone. Wherever they go, the bad guys and amorous coworkers and hired thugs are never far behind.

The Bounty Hunter clearly started from a fun idea. So this guy’s a bounty hunter, and he has to hunt down his ex-wife and bring her to jail. Fun, right? Well…sure. The problem, however, is that it’s not a full 110 minutes of fun. It’s more like 30 minutes of fun. Then, after a while, there’s just nowhere else to go with the story, so you have to throw in pointless side-trips (like a night of gambling in Atlantic City) and random subplots (like a crazy coworker who’s trying to find Nicole, so they can solidify their imaginary relationship).

Still, I’ll freely admit that a movie doesn’t always need a rock-solid story to be entertaining. All you really need is some clever comedy and a lovable cast, and that alone could hold the audience’s attention. Unfortunately, though, The Bounty Hunter isn’t all that funny, either. Mildly amusing, maybe. But there’s nothing particularly clever about it.

In the end, all that’s left are the lovable stars—who, no matter how lovable they may be, are not miracle workers. Aniston is as adorable as ever, but her character is flat and forgettable. Butler, meanwhile, spends most of the movie either running like a madman or trying really hard to master his American accent without making a funny face. (Keep trying, Gerry.)

If The Bounty Hunter had been an episode of Friends (a single episode—not a two-part episode), it would have been cute and entertaining—though it probably wouldn’t have been one of the better episodes. As a full-length movie, though, it feels long and drawn out—and not even Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler can rescue it from the pit of chick flick mediocrity.

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