Bounty Hunter, The (2009)

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence.
Length: 110 minutes
Grade: DC-CD=D
Budget: $40 million
Box Office: $146 million (67 U.S., 69 Intl., 10 DVD)

Written by: Sarah Thorp (Crazy, Twisted, See Jane Run)
Directed by: Andy Tennant (Fool’s Gold, Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama, Anna and the King, Ever After, Fools Rush In, and It Takes Two)
Starring: Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston
With: Christine Baranksi

After a bitter divorce, a former cop now bounty hunter has a chance to bring in his ex-wife journalist after she missed her trial date while trying to uncover a story involving police corruption.

Entertainment Value: D
The biggest disappointment here is that the guy who directed Hitch is still capable of making anything this bad. Apparently writing, not directing, is the key to a quality movie. I mean this was terrible. Laughably bad. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 8% out of 100. About halfway through the movie, I realized what I was watching. It’s a two-hour long 80s TV show (like Moonlighting, Hart to Hart, or Magnum PI) except that it’s not even that good as entertainment goes. But that’s what it feels like, and it feels like that for a very, very long time. In more particular terms, the characters, plot, and scripting are just plain weak. Weak like Clay Aiken in a World’s Strongest Man contest.

Superficial Content: C-
Drugs/Alcohol C-, Sex/Nudity C, Violence D+, Language C-Gambling, strip clubs, a semi-sex scene, fistfights, physical assault, torture, shootings, and plenty of PG-13 language. PG-13 is definitely right.

Significant Content: C
People who loved and now hate each other may have the chance to love each other still, if only the right set of circumstances and personal growth can happen to them. Oops, did I give something away here? I doubt it.

Artistic/Thought Value: F
No thinking necessary, either during or afterwards.

Discussion Questions:
~It’s been said that there is only a fine line between love and hate. What does this mean, and why might someone say it’s the theme of this movie?
~How many people who go through bitter divorces do you think could learn to reconcile if only they had the right set of reminders about what their love once meant?
~Who in this movie suffers from pride issues? Who has an idolatry problem?

Poignant or memorable scenes:
~In the trunk.
~In jail at the end.

Overall Grade: D
Let me repeat. Not funny. Not clever. Not entertaining. Even Rotten Tomatoes gave it only 8% favorable. And I’m amazed they managed to find 8% of positive reviews.

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