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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Bounty Hunter

Lots of hammy faces, hollow jokes and property damage do not a farce make

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Comedies are supposed to be fun, right? Because The Bounty Hunter is just about the most unpleasant, dreary, stupefying way to burn 110 minutes of precious lifespan since waiting for a root canal. (At least in the endodontist's chair you know that the drilling will eventually stop. Not here.)

The agony begins with a script worthy of parakeet cage lining — it's crammed with every cliché and lazy setup from the last half century of romantic comedies, regurgitated with one lackluster gag reflex.

Gerard Butler plays Milo, a former cop turned struggling bail bondsman, given the dream job of hauling in his ex-wife, Nicole (Jennifer Aniston), a pushy careerist reporter with a Lois Lane complex. In the midst of their love spat, they're caught in the gun sights of a drug gang, and proceed to cause massive property damage to a vintage convertible, a golf cart, a pedicab, a quaint bed-and-breakfast and downtown Atlantic City.

Butler and Aniston are allegedly canoodling in real life, which seems incredible, because on screen they generate as much electricity as a pile of gravel. Butler comes off as a real jerk — a smarmy, disheveled creep, puffed up on his own tarnished vanity. Aniston seems bored, but she mightily tries to maintain some dignity in a super-short skirt and a tight blouse; she's a talent, sure, but needs to enroll in Sandra Bullock's Career Rehab Center.

Director Andy Tennant is a well-known hack, having committed such previous cinematic travesties as Fools Rush In and Fool's Gold. The real fools are those buying tickets to this festering turd, based solely on the tabloid appeal of the leads.

Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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