The trouble is not so much that Butler isn’t funny – he isn’t, even slightly – but that he sucks the merest hint of humour from the entire enterprise. Even proven performers like Aniston and Christine Baranski as a sexually voracious mother-in-law are reduced to desperate mugging and hysterical arm-waving in an attempt to fill the comic vacuum which their muscular co-star leaves in his wake. To be fair, the script gives them little to work with: there are maybe three decent laughs, interspersed with long stretches of interminable, would-be witty banter and one near-unwatchable comedy torture scene.
The score, too, is atrocious: infuriatingly cheeky in the comedy scenes, switching to screeching Bon Jovi-esque AOR whenever things kick off. ‘The Bounty Hunter’ isn’t bad enough to be offensive: it’s simply lazy, trite, smug, irritating and a colossal waste of time, talent and money. There’ll be worse films released in 2010 – but not many.