The Collegian
Saturday, July 04, 2020

Featured Flick: The Bounty Hunter

Jennifer Aniston: "Oh my God, can you believe, like, how intolerable he is?"

Gerard Butler: "She is such a phony and never trusted me. Don't talk to me about the Fourth of July, man. I can't handle it! She's bound to make me go crazy again!"

And, scene. What did we learn through that exchange, kiddies? If you answered not much, then you win the coveted "Guess What's Going On" Golden Turkey Award. And "The Bounty Hunter" wins the Golden Gobbler -- a top honor award I invented to give to ridiculously blase films with terribly bland dialog and contrived story arches.

Aniston and Butler are exes who hate each others' guts. Butler gets to take Aniston to jail after she misses court for grazing a police horse with her car. They have problems, and then they work through their issues. We have to watch all of this while a poorly explained corruption story bubbles under the generic romance, threatening to tear the recently reunited love birds apart again - with death this time, oh no!

Here's the deal: I laughed once, and not because of anything Aniston or Butler said. Then I listened to the audience's reaction and felt my heart sink a little. A bit of my faith in humanity blew away with the wind stirred by their laughter. It just wasn't funny -- not even if you find this kind of cutesy romance entertaining. This film is a modern interpretation of "Midnight Run," which is a story about what happens when you're involved in a dangerous snafu and then jump bail. Only this is a cheery, romantic version complete with Cupid's Cabin and Butler's best evil laugh, which I'll admit is pretty great. The laugh alone could be an Internet meme tomorrow and probably should be.

It's the kind of movie that makes me hesitate two-thirds of the way through writing this review and wonder what else I can say about it. Is it predictable? Yes. Is it action-packed? Not really. Unless you count a car flip, a couple of gunshots and a whole lot of shots of Aniston's sternum looking particularly emaciated during running scenes.

The film is mostly just an excuse for movie studios to steal money from people who might have been better off looking at a picture of Aniston and Butler pretending to hate each other.

Maybe they should have combined this film with "Repo Men" and cut $50 million out of the budget. Just hear me out. There's a lot of running in both of them and both Forest Whitaker and Butler act as if they have a license to kill. Meanwhile, Jude Law and Aniston fulfill the roles of the almost-ditsy lovers of seemingly dangerous men. And the broken defibrillator that destroys Law's heart in "Repo Men" could have been used to get the life pumping back into this movie's hollow veins. Well, it was just a thought.

Contact staff writer Jordan Trippeer at jordan.trippeer@richmond.edu

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