The Bounty Hunter - Blu-ray Review

'contains the type of dastardly web of intrigue normally only reserved for Ace Ventura'

If you stop to consider The Bounty Hunter's constituent parts then, chances are, you might not make it past that pause and on to putting the disc into your player. For starters there's Gerard Butler, continuing to attempt to carve out a niche for himself in a genre where he doesn't seem to belong. Opposite him is Jennifer Anistion, long time Friends actor and erm... well that's about it actually. Then there's director Andy Tennant, whose last two major films (Fools Gold and Hitch) didn't exactly have him high on film fan's 'to watch' list. As Scooby-Doo might say, 'Yikes!'

Early on, Tennant's film seems to be sticking very much to expectations. There's a weighty script which ensures the audience (dumb creatures that we are) can keep up. You know this because whenever a character in any film says, 'so, you're saying...' he's about to explain the plot for a second time, just to make sure we get it. It happens several times here, Butler finishing it off once with 'that if I arrest my ex-wife I get $5,000?', something which we all knew from the poster anyway.

As the film moves on though, something strange happens. Butler and Aniston start to find a real chemistry. Sarah Thorp's script stops explaining and starts blending several strands together, creating almost a cross between a buddy comedy, a cop film and a romance. It even starts to get, dare we say it, entertaining. The middle section, with Aniston's reporter and Butler's ex-cop starting to get sucked into the type of dastardly web of intrigue normally only reserved for Ace Ventura is basically a joy and on more than one occasion there are verifiable laughs to be had.

That doesn't make The Bounty Hunter a necessarily 'good' film. Aniston still can't act. The script still can't resist explaining and Tennant's apparent preference to shoot everything from as far away as possible often leaves you feeling disconnected, especially in some of the comedy set pieces. Overall though, The Bounty Hunter is a successful rom-com, which retains its sense of fun right until the end and deserves more credit than the pre-judgers gave it. There's nothing new here, but at least everything you could want from the genre is present and correct and, largely, executed to a level which occasionally approaches charming.

Look further...

'once the first twenty minutes were over, this turned into just another average borefest' - Alice In Movieland, 4/10

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