Here’s the thing; you have to let Butler have his Scottish accent otherwise it’s simply unbearable. He gnashed his way through the abominable The Ugly Truth (and, okay, that movie had more basic flaws to worry like, I don’t know, a script) and now he’s chewed through The Bounty Hunter with a mouth full of gobstoppers.
The Bounty Hunter could have been good. Jennifer Aniston has superb comic timing, she and Butler have obvious natural chemistry and respect for each other and the premise has room for tension and clever comedy. But from the opening sequence it splutters along, less punchy, more try-hard, reliant on gimmicky characters rather than wit and tension.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Jennifer Aniston. Of course I do, it’s Jennifer Aniston. And Gerard Butler is a charming, unfairly attractive Scotsman who, when not grinding his jaw around an American accent, is capable of being quite a screen presence. So it pains me to have to give this film such a comprehensive thumbs down.
The somewhat loose, inconsistent (largely unfunny) script has no climax; it attempts, unsuccessfully, to interweave three subplots, resulting in a completely unsatisfying resolution that smacks of afterthought. Not enough time is spent on the relationship between Butler and Aniston’s characters which means one doesn’t really care whether they are reunited or not; and, even though Aniston works her lines like a pro and emerges as the only bright spot of the film, Butler simply fails to match her – and that’s a big disappointment.