The Bounty Hunter: It’s the Director’s Fault

Let’s face it together, shall we?   Jennifer Aniston was just not herself.

Yes, actors are not supposed to be themselves in films, but they are at least expected to rise to the occasion that often pays them millions of dollars. 

How chemistry could be lacking when one of the stars is Gerard Butler is something the audience will have to leave director Andy Tennant to ponder. 

And when perusing the repertoire of Aniston, who by the way doesn’t do nearly enough films like The Good Girl or Friends with Money,  her comedic timing and skill represents her in a way that could make the  most sceptical critique fall in love with even the corniest of Rom-Coms. 

Those who doubt Aniston’s ability merely have to remember her ten-year stint on Friends, where more often then not, she stole the show.

Yet, Aniston fails to grab the audience in The Bounty Hunter, as her character seems strangely pre-occupied.  One is almost compelled to ask the screen, ‘Would you rather be doing something else besides acting in this movie?’

Butler on the other hand carries the film. His gift is so great that he apparently doesn’t need another person to generate chemistry.  And despite the fact that the Costume and Wardrobe Department put a plaid shirt on Butler that made his incredible abs seem more like he was two months pregnant, he still managed to come off as a sexy forty-year old.

Why blame the director?

Other directors haven’t had much problem getting more out of Aniston.  And if a co-star whose performance was a bit wooden was the only problem with this film, Tennant could be forgiven.

Audiences would not do well to expect too much out of Rom-Com soundtracks.  After all, you’re there for the cheesy romance and the comedy that engenders a chuckle or two.  But the soundtrack to The Bounty Hunter sounds dangerously like a playlist entitled ‘1990’s B-Side Tracks’. 

Viewers may also find it difficult to work out just what purpose was served by writing in supporting character Stewart, played by Jason Sudeikis.  If this jilted journalist, who couldn’t take a hint, was meant to be the comedy relief – then he failed miserably.  The character was more annoying than funny.

Short on comedy and romance, this film doesn’t even merit enough stars so that Butler and Aniston could each have one.  But if you’re really bored and have absolutely nothing else you could be doing, feel free to watch when it comes on cable a couple of years from now around 11pm.  Perhaps it could help you get to sleep.

Geriatric Foxx

There is something inevitably depressing about a 42-year old man singing about ‘shawties in da club’ and ‘100 dollar bills’.  Can anyone say ‘mid-life crisis’?

The tracks on Jamie Foxx’s album Intuition, have a delicious range of influences like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and of course, the late great Ray Charles, whom Foxx channelled quite effectively in the film Ray, winning him his first Oscar.

The beats and melodies work nicely with the modern voices of featured artists Lil’ Kim, Kanye West and Ti Pain.  Yet at times, Intuition feels like Foxx’s desperate attempt to recapture his youth.

Other actors are aware of the age factor.  The 2008 album I am Sasha Fierce showed a more mature Beyoncé appropriately representing her new status as a married woman to hip hop’s Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay-Z.

But Intution doesn’t help fans to place Jamie Foxx.  Other American solo artists like Brian McKnight and Joe are not only established as substantial R&B artists, but have a distinct and marketable sound that separates them from the ordinary.

Silver Foxx or Foxxy Lad?

Foxx on the other hand ranges from playing older characters in films like Ray and Collateral, to the artist who sings about women getting drunk enough in a club to go home with him.  Indeed, confused priorities.

Still, Foxx is a brilliant vocal comedian and impersonator, which he skilfully manages to use well in tracks such as ‘I Don’t Need it’, a song which shows off his multiple talents.

Is Intuition a well put together collaboration with interesting beats that will have any R&B lovers bopping their heads in or out of dance clubs?  Absolutely!

But Foxx’s age begs another question; How long does he think he can keep this up?  His live performance on the 2010 Grammy Awards unfortunately showed him a bit winded as he jumped around stage trying to keep up with the likes of younger performer’s Lady Gaga and Pink.  (To be fair, not many could keep up with Pink, who sings while performing Barnum and Bailey-like acrobatics from the ceiling.)

Yet, if Foxx insists on continuing with his tribute to young and contemporary R&B, he’d better start increasing his vitamin intake and getting a membership at his local gym.

Incidentally, his next album Body is due to come out on 25th May of this year.