|“Why can’t people take responsibility for their s*** and move on?” – Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston).
There is a term often used for bad performances in bad movies by big-named movie stars.
“Phoning It In.” A derivative also exists – “Mailing It In.”
And with “The Bounty Hunter”, we find A-listers Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler learning the definition in pre-production, drawing inspiration from their ample pay checks, and then giving absolutely nothing of themselves to the viewer except dispassionate line readings, contrived emotion, and the actors exude no energy whatsoever. Watching “The Bounty Hunter” is an absolute waste of everyone’s time and it is shameful of Columbia Pictures to foist this on unsuspecting viewers.
I reference that Aniston and Butler are A-listers and after this debacle, I wonder for how much longer. Aniston continues to find movie after movie after movie as does Butler. But both of these actors need a quality hit and based on their respective recent decision-making, an ability to tell their agent, “No.”
Butler plays Milo, a bounty hunter who is tasked with having to bring in his ex-wife, Nicole, after she misses court on a minor charge. Do you really need to know anything else? An entire movie is built on this premise. The poorly conceived screenplay by Sarah Thorp rings out every last drop of comedy and action and suspense within 10 or 15 minutes. So we take joy in watching Aniston and Butler argue, bicker, and pretend to care about the gibberish they are having to recite.
The film is actually quite fascinating after awhile. Rare is the film, with this budget and this cast, which feels like everyone quit midway through. Andy Tennant’s pacing and direction of this film resembles that of a head coach of a sports team that either has lost his/her team midway through the season or simply doesn’t care whether they win or lose.
Save an occasional laugh in the beginning of the film, there is nothing worth remembering in “The Bounty Hunter”. An unnecessary, excessive, and tired action/romance which features unlikable characters, cliched action sequences, and a plot so boring and immature, it is nothing short of insulting. Shame, shame, shame Aniston…and Butler…and everyone involved.
And if I may speak directly to Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler for a moment, I offer some basic advice for your careers going forward…salvage some credibility and stop trying to find your next hit. Just go act, do good work, and get back in touch with the roles and characters that made you, Jennifer Aniston and you, Gerard Butler movie stars we cared about. Enough coasting you two. Perhaps, the movie’s only worthwhile line (stated above) should be taken to heart.