Movie Review: Bounty Hunter

Dire rom-com in which Jennifer Aniston getting locked up is the only bright spot

Cert: 12A, 1hr 50 mins
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler

In Bounty Hunter, Jennifer Aniston’s latest attempt at taking down the rom-com from the inside, we open with Gerard Butler driving down a freeway, with Aniston, playing his ex-wife, in the boot.

He’s a bounty hunter (bad-ass, naturally) called Milo, she’s a reporter (sassy, of course) who’s skipped bail. It’s like they’re from different worlds! She bangs on the lid, he chuckles. She screams, he chuckles. She lets off a distress flare, he lets her out.

Now this, I fear, was the point the film went off the rails. Granted, it happens two minutes in, yet still: we’d all had a good time. They’d had banter. Jennifer Aniston had minimal oxygen. What a great two minutes! Can’t we just keep her in there?

Sadly, no – and the film rolls on in a kind of mirthless topor for another two hours. Hard to know what’s worse. A plot that’s little more than an excuse for a succession of cut-out baddies – bookies for him! murderers for her! – to chase after them, Benny Hill-style. A script that mistakes utterly unrealistic for wackily hilarious. A premise that demands Butler be likeable. Or perhaps the things that just don’t make any sense whatsoever.

“The Milo I know could take five hundred dollars and turn it into five grand like that,” says Aniston confidently at one point, in the hope he’ll take her $500 bribe and hit a casino rather than the $5,000 he’ll automatically get turning her in. I’m sorry Jennifer, run that one past me again. Is he a rough, tough bounty hunter, or is he Rain Man? And while we’re here, if the Milo you know can turn $500 into $5,000 like that, why is he $11,000 in hock to the local leg-breaking bookies? What Milo do they know? And can’t they let the other one bet?

But perhaps the big giveaway here is the soundtrack. It says a lot about how much confidence a director has in his own material when every chase scene is accompanied by the kind of Euro-dance track they probably torture people with in Guantanamo Bay. Avoid.

Stuart McGurk