Movies: The Bounty Hunter * *
Gerard Butler is hardly the mark of quality, but then again neither is poor old Jennifer Aniston, who seems destined to wander like a doomed heroine through an age where no one can write a good sitcom, and in which Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep seem to snap up anything that's halfway decent.
Put Butler and Jen together and you're asking for trouble, and that's exactly what you get in The Bounty Hunter, a half-assed action comedy that has all the dramatic ease of an episode of Scooby Doo.
In a hell-for-leather opening sequence, we are introduced to Milo Boyd (Butler), a former cop who's now a bounty hunter, and Nicole Hurly (Aniston), his glamorous felon of an ex-wife. The pair's break-up was not amicable, and when we first meet them Milo is hauling Nicole's shapely ass off to jail. However, all is not as it seems: Nicole's criminal past only involves a traffic violation, Milo secretly misses being a cop, and they're soon involved in solving a case involving drugs, murder and police corruption.
You can see what the hacks who assembled this film were aiming at: there's a half-assed feint at the romantic road movies of the 30s and 40s, and a few nods to the king of bounty hunter films, Midnight Run. But comparisons with that peerless comic caper would be most inappropriate, because The Bounty Hunter is neither winning nor especially funny. Aniston does what she can, as usual, but why people persist in casting Butler in romcoms baffles me.