x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The Bounty Hunter

A cliched, saccharine rom-com starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler.

The Bounty Hunter 

Director: Andy Tennant Starring: Gerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Gio Perez

Dressed up as a rom-com caper, this saccharine vehicle for its stars sets the stubbly ex-cop-turned-bounty hunter Gerard Butler on an absurd mission to tail his comely investigative journalist ex-wife Jennifer Aniston who, equally absurdly, has skipped bail to chase a story. It's sugar-coated, feelgood schmaltz, lathered with cliché, with the whole premise to the imbroglio being they end up in each other's arms. I found myself glad when early on, he sticks her, high-heels, little black dress and all, in his car boot and heads directly to the police station. But unfortunately that's not the end, and there are two more hours of this dross to get through. Along the way, there's the obligatory hotel-room scene, where the ex-partners must share a bed, though the film is too innocent to get frisky. Somewhat jarringly, there's the odd, brief instance of extreme, unexpected violence - involving head and car bonnet, neck and syringe, bottle and head - but not enough to scupper its 13-rating. The MacGuffin, or premise- stroke-excuse for all this, is the crime syndicate she's mixed up in, and meanwhile we're subjected to women- driving gags and a sojourn in a honeymoon suite, all pursued by drug-dealing mafia baddies. It's a load of phoney, nausea-inducing pap. By half way through, you don't much care what happens. Aniston seems type-cast as the jilted girl next door, but the irony now just seems old and strained.

* Timur Moon