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BOUNTY HUNTER, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, who jumps at the chance to apprehend his ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly (Jennifer Aniston), who has jumped bail after a traffic infringement. Not only will he earn his $5,000 bounty, he is also looking forward to getting some sweet revenge. But Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up and things become even more complicated when they both find themselves on the run, chased by criminals.

Review by Louise Keller:
The plot? Who cares! That's what the script writer probably said as she cobbled together the contrived, far-fetched scenarios that form the backdrop for the battle of the sexes between shapely Jennifer Aniston and macho Gerard Butler. It's pretty much what you would expect, as Aniston and Butler play out their love-hate relationship in a romantic comedy with cop, action and road movie elements, although it reeks of being manufactured and lacks wit, subtlety or imagination.

She is an investigative reporter intent on getting her story; he is an ex-cop turned bounty hunter with a gambling habit. I quickly tired of the contrived set ups as Butler's Milo snaps the handcuffs on Aniston's Nicole and locks them first to the bed-head and then the door of his blue convertible. Perhaps the most ridiculous moment comes when Nicole goads Milo to accept her challenge to turn her $500 into $10,000 at the nearest casino. That is when she is his prisoner and they are at each other's throats.

Yes, that's the cue for throwing winning sevens and elevens before a predictable downturn of events. Aniston flaunts her wares wearing a tight black mini skirt, stilettos and showing cleavage, while Butler takes off his shirt to reveal an impressive six-pack after the dice throwing is over. There's a car chase of sorts, an out of control golf-cart that belly-flops into a lake, colourful characters in a dive of a tattoo parlour and a ridiculous side plot about an amorous, nerdy journalist with whom Nicole once had a fling. Christine Baranski sparkles brightly as Aniston's over-the-top cabaret singer mother.

The film's most sincere moment comes during the dinner scene at Cupid's Honeymoon Cabin when Nicole and Milo, dressed in borrowed clothes, reveal their true emotions. It's a charming scene but there's plenty more fluff before the predictable resolution and the inevitable kiss that does come, but not as you might expect. Fans of the two leads may enjoy the banter and foreplay, but it's slim pickings for discerning movie lovers and is never smart enough, sexy enough or funny enough to be memorable.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

BOUNTY HUNTER, THE (M)
(US, 2010)

CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Christine Baranski, Natalie Morales, Jason Sudeikis, Peter Greene, Cathy Moriarty

PRODUCER: Neal H. Moritz

DIRECTOR: Andy Tennant

SCRIPT: Sarah Thorp

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Oliver Bokelberg

EDITOR: Troy Takaki

MUSIC: George Fenton

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jane Musky

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 18, 2010







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