Friday, May 14, 2010

BOUNTY HUNTER - An Unromantic Farce

THE BOUNTY HUNTER (romantic comedy)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Christine Baranski, Jason Sudeikis, Natalie Morales, Cathy Moriarty, Daisy Tahan and Siobhan Fallon
Director: Andy Tennant
Screenplay: Sarah Thorp
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Butler and Aniston in THE BOUNTY HUNTER

PREAMBLE: Let me see. This movie is supposed to be a romantic comedy.

So what's so romantic about it? Well, if you deem handcuffing your loved one to the bed, zapping him with a taser-gun, and locking her in the trunk of the car as romantic gestures, then Bounty Hunter must be romantic.

What's so funny about it? The one joke here is that a Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler), an ex-New York City cop turned bounty hunter, gets to bring his ex-wife Nicole (Jennifer Aniston) in for violating bail bond. Milo finds this assignment the irony of his life - and he seems to be the only one laughing (as no one in the audience would).

Wait. This is also an action comedy with car chases, golf-cart crashes and even a trishaw number thrown in. But then this is supposed to be a rom-com, remember? So these action sequences are meant to augment the gags!

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? From the title and what I have written above, you should know the premise.

HITS & MISSES: Daily News reporter Nicole skips court ostensibly to meet up with a snitch who may have some info on a 'suicide' case. This is flimsy motivation to kick start the main plot that screenwriter Sarah Thorp has packed with farcical action. She has also contrived some 'colourful' side gags: There is Stewart (Jason Sudekis of Saturday Night Live) who is so haplessly into Nicole that he nearly gets killed stalking her; and Christine Baranski plays Nicole's horny mother who wants a picture of Milo's bum. At the end of the movie, we are still unclear about the 'suicide' case that involved a cache of drugs and a suspected betrayal by a friend.

But then director Andy Tennant (of Hitch and Fool's Gold fame) must have figured that with the hunky Butler and sexy Aniston (whose cleavage is always part of her act) running around chasing each other, no one would bother about the plot or the storyline. The audience know how this Battle of the Exes is going to end anyway, so why bother filling in the details?

THE BOTTOM LINE: An unromantic farce.


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