The Bounty Hunter Review

the-bounty-hunter-posterAs I sat on the Green Line on my way to the screening of Andy Tennant’s The Bounty Hunter, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to see.  In fact, I even began writing this review in my head.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Sure, there was the obvious scene or cliché joke here or there, but ultimately the film is a contemporary screwball comedy, a modern-day His Girl Friday, with a twist of course.

Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler), an ex-cop, is working as a bounty hunter when he is assigned to take in his ex-wife, Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston), a reporter, for jumping bail.  But Nicole doesn’t have time to go to jail; she is working to uncover a mysterious murder that seems to involve members of the NYPD.  Milo and Nicole embark on a cat and mouse chase that leads to Atlantic City, all while being targeted by dangerous murderers and Milo’s bookies.  As Milo and Nicole become more involved in the murder investigation, they discover that their lives are in danger.  More important, the former couple begins to analyze their past relationship and question if divorce was the right decision.

Those fond of Andy Tennant’s work (Sweet Home Alabama, Hitch, and Fool’s Gold) will enjoy The Bounty Hunter.  It has the same average performances and predictable plots that make it perfect for a date night or girls’ night out.  But, at the same time, one must appreciate the genre of the screwball comedy, something that Tennant aces with The Bounty Hunter.  Viewers (and fans of Hawks’ His Girl Friday) will be pleased with the outrageous plot, the satire of high society as Milo and Nicole visit a country club, the irreverent attitude towards romance and domesticity (especially in scenes between Nicole and co-worker Stewart, played by SNL’s Jason Sudeikis), the sexual innuendo, and the unconventional view of gender (Milo’s super-tough bookie is Irene, played by Cathy Moriarty) – all components of the screwball genre.

Viewers may also enjoy seeing some familiar faces in the film, such as Christine Baranski, who plays Nicole’s mother, Kitty Hurley, an aging Atlantic City performer.  Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin appears as Sid, Milo’s boss, and Carol Kane plays Dawn, the owner of an Atlantic City bed and breakfast.

The performances of Aniston and Butler are mediocre, with Aniston re-hashing her character from The Break-Up.  Butler does get quite a few well-deserved laughs from the audience, especially in his attempts at taking in his ex-wife, from tracking her down at a race track to tackling her on the shoulder of the New Jersey Parkway.  There is not much chemistry between the pair, which works well, considering that the two are at odds for the majority of the film.  By the end of the film, the couple is more of a partnership than a romance, but it will have to suffice for this screwball comedy.

Overall, The Bounty Hunter is not for someone looking for an intellectual comedy or a fall-out-of-your-seat-laughing film, although it is reminiscent of the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s.    But it is light and enjoyable, perfect for the girls’ night out crowd or Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston fan clubs.

The Bounty Hunter opens in theaters on March 19, 2010 and is rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence.

-Melissa Cleary

Directed by Andy Tennant; written by Sarah Thorp; director of photography, Oliver Bokelberg; edited by Troy Takaki; original music by George Fenton; production designer, Jane Musky; produced by Ryan Kavanaugh, Donald J. Lee, Jr., Ori Marmur, Robyn Meisinger, and Neal H. Moritz; released by Columbia Pictures.  Running time: 106 minutes.

With: Jennifer Aniston (Nicole), Gerard Butler (Milo), Christine Baranski (Kitty), Dorian Missick (Bobby), Peter Greene (Earl Mahler), Jeff Garlin (Sid), Siobhan Fallon (Teresa), Cathy Moriarty (Irene), and Carol Kane (Dawn).

Post a Comment

Your email address is never shared. Required fields are marked *