Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 19th, 2010
In an attempt to win over more of the male viewers into their audiences, filmmakers of the romantic comedy genre have tried many tactics. To date, very few of them have worked to any great extent. The problem appears to be getting the mixture just right. Too much of the guy stuff and you’ll turn away your core “chick” audience. Too little and you’re really not reeling in too many guys. Of course, we go anyway to please the ladies in our lives. Just between us, I once found myself at a Barry Manilow concert for a girl. Yes, I’m trying to get some help for that. We’ll go. That doesn’t mean we have to enjoy ourselves. Hopefully, it’s just enough that we go,because no matter how much it tries to be a guy flick, The Bounty Hunter might as well have a neon sign hanging from the marquee that says “Ladies Only, Please”.
Nicole (Aniston) is a reporter who is onto a big story, or at least it could be. She thinks that a recent death ruled a suicide was really a murder and that some cops are trying to cover it up. As you might expect, she’s not too popular with the police department,and she’s also facing a charge of assault on a police officer stemming from a “misunderstanding” between her car and a police horse. When she’s ordered to appear in court for the crime,she gets a call from her informant who claims to have info that will break her suicide case, but he has to meet her now. Naturally, she blows off the court appearance to meet the snitch. Unfortunately, the snitch has been snatched by the bad guys,and now there’s a warrant out for her arrest. The bail bondsman who posted her bail sends one of his best bounty hunters to pick her up;that’ll be Milo (Butler),her ex-husband. For most of the film we have the two ex-spouses playing their own cat-nd-mouse game while the killer in Nicole’s case is out to kill her. Then there’s the mob boys that Milo owes a huge gambling debt to. Finally, to complete a hat trick of pursuers,there’s Stewart (Sudeikis) who is in love with Nicole and decides to “rescue” her from her situation. As you might have guessed, Stewart is going to end up in a world of hurt.
Give the filmmakers some credit here. If you’re going to rip off another film to add those “guy-bait” elements to your romantic comedy, steal from the best. And steal, this film does from the Robert De Niro classic Midnight Run. Like that film, the entire plot is merely a setup to put these characters together, in this case for as much of the typical romantic tension that they can squeeze out of the thin plot. There’s no doubt that both of the actors are likely having a blast making the film, but it doesn’t ever translate to fun for the viewer. The suspense elements of the film lack only one ingredient. They’re just not very suspenseful, and to be fair they are never really intended to be. There isn’t anything happening in this movie that you can’t see coming from a mile away. Unfortunately for me, I saw it coming but couldn’t avoid it. You can.
The Bounty Hunter is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC/MPEG-4 codec at an average of almost 30 mbps. For the most part, there really isn’t anything wrong with this image presentation. It’s a straightforward romantic comedy, so there aren’t a ton of stunning visual elements to consider. Colors are natural and detail is about average. The only real flaw I encountered is likely the fault of the director. The film appears very flat. The best thing about Blu-ray and high definition in general is that you often encounter a bit more depth to a film. It adds tremendously to the realism. I found that quite noticeably lacking in this image. Is it necessary here? Probably not. Still, it was prevalent enough to really catch my notice.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 does exactly what it is intended to do. There’s a lot of dialog and some action scenes. Don’t expect a lot of sub here. The surrounds are used rather sparingly. You will notice that Butler’s accent appears to come and go throughout the film.
Making The Bounty Hunter: (17:42) HD Cast and crew apparently just loved everything about making this movie.
Stops Along The Road – Hunting Locations: (11:21) HD A feature on the film’s many locations.
Rules For Outwitting A Bounty Hunter: (1:21) HD This is a very stupid promo piece for the film. The rules are merely scene introductions.
BDLive is all promotional crap
Again, the ladies out there might disagree. I honestly didn’t enjoy anything about this film. I’m afraid that there might be too much action to keep the ladies involved as well. I don’t see this one going very far. The idea appears to be simply to give us some good looking people to stare at and hope we won’t notice the lack of an actual movie to look at. I had to watch this movie once. “I promise. I promise I won’t do it again.”