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The Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter

Review by Cassam Looch

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

WHETHER the off-screen romance is real or not is open to debate, but the two leads in this by-the-numbers romantic comedy do share some chemistry on screen.

It’s a shame that the film itself fizzles away in a meandering and largely pointless exercise of style over substance.

Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler), a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly (Jennifer Aniston).

He thinks all that’s ahead is an easy pay-day, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply between the two of them.

The exes continually one-up each other – until they find themselves on the run for their lives.

The thriller elements of this film are played with a very light touch making it all too obvious that the filmmakers want you to laugh your way through proceedings.

And therein lies the main problem, for although the acting is fine and the central characters work well together, the plot fails to find any real humour in the situations it places its stars.

The gags are sign-posted and never deliver a satisfying punch-line although you never feel that anyone is left hanging. It’s just too bland to sparkle and too unnecessary a viewing experience overall.

As previously mentioned, it’s very hard not to like the main stars, especially Aniston who not only looks great but also reminds us that she can perform on the big screen as well as she ever did on TV.

Butler, on the other hand, has had a distinctly up and down 12 months with the high being his performance as a larger than life villain in Law Abiding Citizen and his low the unfunny rom-com The Ugly Truth.

He manages to get the lazy charm and appeal of Milo but whereas Aniston makes us understand more about the emotions that Nicole is experiencing throughout, Butler plays it all in one note.

The pair do work well together and it’s a shame they have little chance to expand their on-screen relationship over anything that is completely predictable.

But then this genre itself is in dire need of a shot in the arm, and it says something that when compared to the likes of Did You Hear About The Morgans? and Leap Year this comes out with more positives than negatives.

About as good (or bad) as the trailers and preview clips make it out to be, The Bounty Hunter is far from the worst film of the week… but it’s certainly not great either.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 110mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: July 26, 2010