Skip to content

At the Movies with Peter Clease: The Bounty Hunter

Figuratively speaking, movies--everlasting or present material--are potent enough to build enormous landmarks, shape creed and weather depression.

Figuratively speaking, movies--everlasting or present material--are potent enough to build enormous landmarks, shape creed and weather depression. If forced into a short definition, films would be defined as a chameleon-like epitome--an apt entertainment; art, whether arty or artistic; ceaseless trite; or an amalgam of imagination and leisure. Then, time and again, there comes a film of uncategorized merit--a subbed deviant. Weighing in on the pluses and minuses, "The Bounty Hunter" falls into the immediate category, succeeding at exactly what it wants to be: road-kill.

It is a comedy (such an overused word) about a bail-jumping, hot-trot reporter, Nicole (Jennifer Aniston), who is investigating the morose details of a supposed suicide. When her ex-husband, Milo (Gerard "This is Sparta!" Butler), learns of her plight, he, as a professional bounty hunter, merrily apprehends her, taking her to jail. However, on the way, both are killed by a Decepticon, ending the film, tragically. The plot grows more traditional; the humour is the equivalent of a drunkard--yelling and screaming--trying to be funny, but, oh, it is so lame; and the romantic/mysterious resolutions are cheap.

Previously, in conventional films, actors have elevated the level of the picture through sheer willpower and effortless precision--know where I am going with this? Aniston, along with past excellence, has been stiff before, but never has she been so wooden that she eerily resembles a spruce forest. To give credit where credit is due, and, in this case, no such credit is deserved: Butler is a horrid actor who stupidly plays his characters on the wrong note every single time. Jointed onscreen, Aniston and Butler are insipid, artificial cartoons; so deadly, that watching them is like watching two trees mating.

Years from now, "The Bounty Hunter" will be studied, further evaluated and re-watched over and over again; seen as a milestone of the cinema. One might view it as a rare movie that fails to reach the feeblest of standards: firewood substitute, vomit bag, dart board, etc. (And to bestow such compliments is kind praise, indeed.) But, on the contrary, I envision "The Bounty Hunter" in a humble future--an ad campaign, benefiting from its fragmented footage, which will alarm tomorrow's youth on the ill effects of heroin. "This is what can happen to you," speaks the narrator, as it shows Jennifer Aniston, playing the ditsy heroine, at a solidified low point in her career. The kiddies will be so rattled that, not only will they never touch a smidge of the said poison, they will, more importantly, skip this movie.