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Someone should arrest The Bounty Hunter and bring it to jail

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The Bounty Hunter is an astounding A-list epic fail with Jennifer Aniston’s  name written all over it. Watching just how many things the film gets Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler in "The Bounty Hunter." Photo: SONY Pictures.wrong could actually be really fun if you were A. drunk or B. being paid to watch it. Since it is likely that neither of these options will be available, avoid this one at all costs.

Aniston has made a career of these inept movies. Every now and then she will make something of substance (Friends With Money), but for the most part, audiences are stuck enduring one unoriginal desperate romantic comedy after another, with the beauty playing her character Rachel from Friends rather than acting. Jen please, just stop. Date John Mayer  again. Get a cat. Get two cats. Just please don’t subject us to this.

The Bounty Hunter does have a plot, amazing as it may seem. The film opens taking jabs at Nicole (Aniston), a goody two shoes reporter who has been made the joke of the office because she was arrested for assaulting an officer. With her trial date impending, her lawyer warns how important it is to show up. Of course when the date of the trial arrives, Nicole is nowhere to be found. You see, she got a lead on a super hot story that may expose corruption in the police force and that’s more important than attending her trial.

If only the judge thought so. Clearly not amused, she issues a bench warrant, and thus enters Milo (Gerard Butler). He is a failed cop turned bounty hunter who has been asked to bring Nicole’s ass to jail by the end of the weekend for a rosy sum of $5,000. The twist? Nicole is Milo’s ex-wife. Let the chase begin.

The Bounty Hunter plays out like a broken Mr. and Mrs. Smith  (Sorry to bring up Brad, Jen. Don’t cry) The two films don’t have an incredible amount plot wise in common, but both deal with sparring exes dueling amidst a wave of action and comedy. More important, Smith is an example if how it’s done right. There was an undeniable chemistry between the two leads, something that is ridiculously absent between Butler and Aniston. These two wouldn’t make a convincing couple if they were the last people on earth. Their interactions are awkward and the laughs are well, missing. Instead of rooting for them, the audience focuses on their weaknesses. Gerard Butler should definitely contact his agent and have him remove romantic comedy from his list of interests.

Elsewhere, the film tries to keep the tone light and airy. (Well save for the random bursts of nasty violence, one involving a large needle. Not a joke.) The film fails on this level too because it never establishes itself convincingly in any genre. It probably plays most successful as a comedy, because the action and thriller elements are so terrible that none of it can be taken seriously. Subplots about cops gone bad, insane tattoo artists, and covered up suicides really fail to gel or generate interest.

I have to admit, when a big heap of crap like this even get’s green-lighted, my hat goes off to Jennifer Aniston. She’s an actress with major sex appeal who brings in box office bank, so much so they studio execs will release a turkey like The Bounty Hunter with the utmost faith it will perform well just based on her star wattage alone. That’s great and all but don’ t expect it to go on for too much longer Jen. America will catch on to you eventually, and maybe then you will be forced to actually act, or at least we won’t have to see yet another one of your romantic comedies in the bargain bin at Walmart.

Contact Jim Teti at jteti@philly2philly.com