The Lovefilm Experiment: The Bounty Hunter
I’ve seen quite a few sites out there that play a little game called Netflix Roulette. The rules appear to be very easy, in that basically they have to review whatever random movie Netflix turfs out. Brother Kloipy drew a stinker the other day, with Lucky McKee’s exercise in nastiness The Woman, so I surely can’t do any worse than that…
The rules are simple. When I turn Lovefilm on on the PS3, it offers me 10 choices of “Lovefilm’s pick”. Now, these vary hugely and they seem to change them about once a month. So, in order, I assigned each of them a number from 1 to 10. The films were:
- Adam Chaplain
- Cell 211
- Robin Hood
- Justice League: Crisis on two earths
- The Bounty Hunter
And Kick-Ass. The only proviso I had was that if one of us had already reviewed the film, then it was off the list. So, bye bye Kick Ass. Anyway, I bought up the random number generator and was absolutely aghast to see it spin in with 2010’s dismal Jennifer Aniston Rom Com The Bounty Hunter.
I’m fucking cursing because if I’d waited a few days it would have changed and The Bounty Hunter would not have been an option. Still, rules are rules, so here we go…
Contains a hateful pair of arseholes and spoilers below.
Milo (Gerard Butler) and Nicole (Jennifer Aniston) are happily divorced. He’s been fired from the Police Force, owes 11 grand to a loan shark, and is basically a tosser. In the meantime, she’s a hotshot journalist onto the scent of a story. She’s also due in court for assaulting a police officer, but misses her appointment to chase down a source. So, Gerard picks up the commission to drag her ass back to court for which he’ll be paid $5,000. Milo, despite being a cockwomble, is actually marginally smarter than he looks, so he tracks her down to a track in Atlantic City. Cue shenanigans and will they won’t they rekindle the embers of their romance.
I knew this was going to be a bad film, but it’s actually fucking painful. Firstly, the fumbletrumpet lets her persuade him to play craps in a casino. She uses all her feminine wiles by basically telling him that it’ll be no problem because the man she knew could take $500 and turn it into $10,000. It’s so annoying that he falls for this, because the film makes such a big fucking deal about him owing $11,000 to the loan shark for, you guessed it, a gambling debt. I humbly suggest that he isn’t the shit-hot gambling man he thinks he is.
In the meantime, he, for reasons best known to himself, starts to help her with her investigation into the corrupt cops (the bad guy, Peter Greene, is best known for cornholing Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction). But this doesn’t get in the way of the misunderstandings which come thick and fast as our couple bicker, look like they’re going to get it on, before she overhears something and chucks a huff, look like they’re going to get it on and so forth ad fucking nauseum. Honestly, it’s bloody painful stuff. Anyway, it’s no surprise when they save the day, but he still returns her to jail, and instead of using his bounty to pay her out, instead he punches a cop out so he can be put in the next cell. What? Why the fuck did you do that? You dick.
I’ve discovered that this film came into existence as the result of a conversation between Neal H Moritz (Fast And Furious) and Andy Tennant (Hitch) held over their fence. I spent most of the film fantasising about a better world where fumbletrumpet contractors made sure to build fences big enough to prevent horrible conversations like this one from happening.
Basically, there’s no point me talking about the positives to this film, because there aren’t any. It’s not funny, the leads are sleepwalking, it’s too long, too boring, deeply predictable, massively stupid, and a fine example of the imagination deficient shiny plastic drivel that’s killing Romcom as a genre stone fucking dead. In the words of Monty Python, if this trend keeps up then this is soon going to be “an ex-genre”. Instead, I’m just going to pick a few places where it went horribly wrong:
I can see the logic here. Aniston is arguably the queen of Romantic Comedy at the moment, and Butler is a big beefy actor whose star was definitely on the rise when this was made. Unfortunately, they’ve got absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. I find it impossible to believe that these two spent any time together let alone shared a marriage. Now, I don’t blame Aniston for this, although she is purely on autopilot, and nor do I blame Butler. The problem here is that Butler is hopelessly miscast. Periodically, he has to gurn at the camera after she calls him “Crazy” for the millionth time, and he is crazy, but he’s not insane in a quirky entertaining way, rather he’s a menace to society, the kind of cretin that you can believe once ate a turd on a bet. Which leads me on to problem 2
2) The Writing
By far and away the biggest problem in the film. The leads have no chemistry because the characters are so hateful. Milo is an ego-driven petty twat and she’s a carping shrew. However, even given how deficient the writing of these two characters is, and any Romcom is doomed if we hate the two leads, that’s the least of the problems. Sarah Thorp, the writer, clearly knows that the premise can’t support a full run time, so instead jams the film full of annoying and unfunny comedic support. Particularly irritating are the two thugs who work for the loan shark, and every time they appear on screen the film comes to a painful halt while we wait for them to cock up whatever it is they’re cocking up and bugger off again.
3) It doesn’t know what it wants to be
This is obviously a romantic comedy, right, so why is the vast majority of the run time these two dickheads hiding from murderous corrupt cops? Why am I watching vast swathes of the film dealing with some inconsistent crap that Milo works out on the basis of a phone call? I get that our two less-than-starcrossed lovers aren’t interesting enough to support the film, but this sub-thriller crap is less than entertaining. It’s a waste, actually, because the whole fiasco is so unfocused that I began to wonder if there isn’t a better film in there buried under a ton of garbage.
4)It’s just NOT funny.
Let me put it like this: one of the key gags in the film, that they repeat about 9 times, is that Nicole is the worst driver in the universe. Seriously, that’s the big joke. When Milo eventually asks her what she’s wanted for, it turns out, and you’d best get ready to hold your sides, that her “assaulted a police officer” was actually “accidentally hit a police horse with her car”. Seriously, that’s the level of comedy we’re dealing with here. Also, I found it faintly disturbing that he keeps coming up and manhandling her on a busy street like a caveman’s less reconstructed cousin, and not one fucker bats an eyelid. I started to think that this was actually a running gag, but if that’s the case, then it’s so dismally unfunny as to actually be a touch disconcerting.
There’s so much I can talk about here to be rude about it, but I don’t really see the point. Yes, The Bounty Hunter is a stinkingly awful film, but really, what am I going to accomplish beating up on it for another 400 words? Fuck all. Really, at the end of the day this is a romcom/ thriller with hateful and unsympathetic leads, no comedy whatsoever, no chemistry, and it’s just a fucking boring and obnoxious waste of time. I’m not pissing away another second of time on this cunt, as I don’t recommend it at all: Orangutan of Doom, and fuck this noise.
Next time I do this, hopefully I’ll get something more up my alley than this terrible start.