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I'm a longtime contributor to MTV, Billboard, Alternative Press and MovieWeb. I've worked as on-air reporter, host, writer and producer for MTV, MSNBC and E!. I have provided opinion and commentary to programs on VH1, IFC, G4, Fuse, Current and Oxygen. I have written for Huffington Post, Premiere, OC Weekly, SFGate.com, NextMovie.com, MTV's television and movie blogs and other publications. I am the founder of Superhero Productions, providing broadcast, online and aftermarket content for a number of clients including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. I personally handle artist management for a handful of bands. "Ryan Downey has established a history of breaking some good scoops in the last few years, and you could certainly do worse than bookmark [him] to check in on." -- Ain't It Cool

Friday, March 26, 2010

Movie Review: "The Bounty Hunter"



This week I participated in the on-air review of "The Bounty Hunter" on "The Rotten Tomatoes Show" on Current TV. The video of that segment is above and my written review follows.

THE BOUNTY HUNTER
Directed By: Andy Tennant
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler
1 Star


Jennifer Aniston was so great in "The Good Girl" and "Office Space." She should know better than to star in a movie as awful as "The Bounty Hunter." And Gerard Butler, since "300," has been in "Law Abiding Citizen" (dumb), "The Ugly Truth" (dumber) and "Gamer" (dumbest), so, maybe he doesn't know better. It's a shame. He seems like a nice guy.

But audiences... We know better! We should demand that romantic comedies, even one like "The Bounty Hunter" that wishes it was "War of the Roses" meets "Romancing the Stone" but lacks the smarts or the charm to be either, greatly improve! I can't think of a more stagnant genre right now save for maybe the torture porn garbage, itself really a sub-genre. (At least there used to be great rom-coms. Was there a good "Saw"?).

Did these two actors really have nothing better to choose from than this? "The Bounty Hunter" is a bland "romantic" "comedy" where Aniston burns up a fair amount of the goodwill she's built with the public and Butler works hard to make us forget him. I'm hoping his best work is ahead of him, but I'm also thinking this guy needs to fire his agent. (His upcoming "Machine Gun Preacher" does sound promising. Here's hoping!).

Butler's American accent makes Colin Farrell sound like Tom Cruise. It's the European equivalent of Keanu Reeves playing English in "Dracula." There is nothing likable whatsoever about the bum he plays, either, and Aniston has nothing to work with.

Here's the plot: they used to be married, they're not anymore, she's chasing a big story involving murder and drugs, he's chasing her over a traffic court appearance. She's saddled with the rom-com cliche of "woman who must choose between life as an icy careerist or as a happy wife," which is a movie premise that not only needs to be retired, but should have never existed in the first place. What year is this, again?

I know she can act, but Aniston has nothing to do here but fiddle with her hair and show off her (admittedly more incredible than ever) body in some sexy "business" attire. Someone forgot to give us a reason to like Butler's character as they piled on the "down-in-the-dumps" affectations like alcoholism, breaking and entering and the whole pointing a gun at the love of his life thing.

With its mean-spirited relationship humor and sloppily handled action subplot, "The Bounty Hunter" gets extra demerits for squandering Jeff Garland ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") in a useless role as Butler's bail bondsmen boss who yells more often than Dog the Bounty Hunter smiles.

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