The Bounty Hunter

It’s not that bad.

No, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but considering the shellacking that The Bounty Hunter is taking at the hands of critics (It has an atrocious 5% rating by Top Critics over at Rotten Tomatoes. Compare that to the almost unwatchable Cop Out, with its relatively robust 21%), I was expecting a lot worse.

Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler play a divorced couple with a hatred of each other that rivals The War of the Roses. Of course, we’re given no real sense of why they dislike each other so much (especially since they’ve only known each other for such a comparatively short time– they dated for six months, were married for nine months, and have been apart for more than a year), which made me wonder if I’d missed something. Maybe if we found out that he had killed a couple cute little puppies or something, it might have helped.

Regardless, she’s Nicole Hurley, a Daily News reporter who is due in court to answer to a charge of assaulting a police officer. (Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds– apparently she nicked a police horse with her car.) Butler plays Milo Boyd, an ex-cop who is now a bounty hunter. It’s his job to bring her in, since she bailed (pardon the pun) on her court date, choosing instead to chase down a super-huge story that she’s this close to breaking.

He finds her, he throws her in his trunk, and the ‘madcap’ road movie is on.

The one thing that ends up saving this movie from being a complete disaster is Aniston herself. Since Butler, I’m convinced, can’t act his way out of a paper bag, it falls on her to carry this movie on her back and bring it home. And she’s great.

Now, this whole thing hinges on whether you like Jennifer Aniston. If you do, you may actually enjoy this movie. You probably won’t recommend it highly, but I think (and I’m sure the decent-sized crowd that actually seemed to be having a good time right along with me would agree) that you’ll leave the theater not thinking you just wasted ten bucks. (I suppose the same goes if you like Butler– I just find that a little harder to fathom.)

There are actually quite a few funny moments, including several with SNL’s Jason Sudeikis, who plays Aniston’s co-worker (and crush) Stewart.

Overall, The Bounty Hunter is better than Cop Out, and miles better than Valentine’s Day (which, admittedly, isn’t saying much, but still…)

It won’t win any awards, but I don’t think it’s worthy of a Razzie, either.

The bottom line is, it’s… fine.

2.5/5 stars