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Happy midweek lull Gasmii! Your one and only P-Baby here. I’m a bit down in the dumps over the state of what cinema has had to offer me over the past couple weeks. Nary a movie has come out that I’ve felt worthy enough to drag my lazy ass to the theater to see (minus Despicable Me, which obvi did not warrant any sort of snark because I love cartoons and Steve Carell). I toyed with the idea of Eclipse and then realized that I wasn’t twelve and opted out. The good news is that Inception comes out this Friday and Mr. P-Baby and I will be coming out of hiding to go see that one because it looks fucking awesome and I’ve loved Leo since he smashed that grasshopper’s head in a mailbox in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
On the DVD side of the house, again the options have been dismal at best. I gave When In Rome a shot because Kristen Bell is just so cute and unfortunately succumbed to another shitty romantic comedy this week, starring my body double Jennifer Aniston.
First thing’s first. I really like Jennifer Aniston in terms body, hair, what she wears, circle of celebrity pals, etc. If I could trade places with a celebrity for a day, she’d make the top 3 list along with Reese Witherspoon circa the Jake G. era and maybe a trashy reality person like Kim Kardashian just because. Would it be wrong to bed Brody Jenner whilst inhabiting the body of his step-sister? Verdict: No, on the basis that one is a star of The Hills and the other has starred in a sex tape. Clearly they both have committed far worse sins than a little step on step action.
Anyway, I usually go support my girl Jen whenever a new project of hers comes out. This trend was broken when I saw the shiteous trailers for The Bounty Hunter. Things are not going to go well when even the trailer which typically is supposed to advertise how cute, charming, and fun your movie will be sucks. I decided against better judgment and lack of other options to give it a go anyway out of the redbox. This time total cost was $1.07 plus 15 minutes of my time to get to Wal-Mart and back.
The movie opens with a handsome Gerard Butler driving along down the road, carefree until he notices his car is producing an inordinate amount of smoke from the trunk. He pulls over and opens the trunk, and out pops Jennifer Aniston who has lit a road flare, the cause of the smoke.
She starts hauling ass barefoot down the road and we see due to the convenient label that flashes onto the screen that her name is Nicole and she’s a wanted felon. Gerard starts chasing her and again due to introductory cinema label we see his name is Milo and he is said bounty hunter from the movie’s title. Were the writers that lazy or uncreative that there was no other way to cleverly introduce the lead characters’ names and occupations other than just lazily labeling them 30 seconds into the movie? I can tell this one is going to be a real mind-bender. MENSA members unite!
Milo easily catches Nicole and tackles her into a field. More lazy labels show us that they are in fact ex-spouses to boot. Man, now that I know it is ok to just label things on screen, I’m going to get back to writing my screenplay. I feel like the only people that can get away with clever gimmicks such as that are the likes of Tarantino, Soderbergh, etc because they have already proven how amazing and innovative they are.
Flashing backwards 24 hours, we happen upon what appears to be a 4th of July parade. Images of cheering, flag waving, Uncle Sam on stilts and a fat man walking down the street stuffing his face with hot dogs fill the screen when we see Milo keeping close watch on something. Fat man approaches Milo informing him that he owes his boss money, which results in a fist fight altercation. Apparently the wanted bounty is stilted Uncle Sam, who Milo starts chasing through the parade.
Milo catches Uncle Sam and tackles him. He then gets arrested by the police nearby, though I’m not really sure what for. Maybe for assaulting a national icon? Who knows?
Next we see Nicole getting off the elevator and arriving at her office, where she works as a reporter. On her desk is a photo of her mugshot reminding her she has an appointment with the court the following morning at 9 for assaulting an officer. A mustached coworker named Stuart who clearly wants to bone her harangues Nicole at her desk about working on a project together. Nicole and Stuart drunkenly made out at a Christmas party once which has forever given her a stalker. She excuses herself from Stuart’s leering and heavy breathing and makes a break for the bathroom.
Nicole calls a bartender named Jimmy from the can, asking him to dig around for information on a suicide that occurred on June 23rd by a guy named Walter Lilly. She tells him that there was a black SUV with stolen plates at the scene, which could lead to something. I’m only including this much detail because I have no idea where they are going with this right now and I’m sure if I didn’t include the bit about the black SUV it would somehow come back to bite me in the ass as a major plot point of the movie. Except movies like this don’t have major plot points so I don’t know why I’m wasting my time.
Stuart overhears Nicole on the phone because he is doesn’t understand social norms and is in the ladies room. He wants to buy her a drink and she again denies his advances. I like how mustaches have gone from being hot and sexy to immediate indicator of serial killer/uber-creep.
Nicole calls her mother Kitty, played by the always wonderful Christine Baranski, while she is standing up on the roof deep in thought about the suicide. She is trying to figure out why a guy who committed suicide would jump off the building and asks her mom whether she would jump from the side with trees on the ground or the side with a straight shot to the cement. Her mom automatically jumps to conclusions that she is going to jump until Nicole explains that she is working on a case.
Milo has since been bailed by a pal named Bobby, a police detective and also the requisite smart-talking African American side kick who is way to good to be associated with any of these people. They talk a little about Nicole, with Milo getting defensive about the whole thing.
As can be expected, Nicole is running late for her court date, with her frustrated lawyer waiting outside. She arrives with four minutes to spare. Jimmy calls just as they are walking in, telling Nicole he’s got something big on the case she was asking about and demands to meet her in half an hour at Dunkin’ Donuts with her bringing $500 in cash. Damn, Jimmy and I could be buds. I could eat the hell out of chocolate frosted donut and an Iced Vanilla Latte Lite.
Clearly this meeting is going to present a problem, since Nicole is due in court. Nicole ‘s lawyer proceeds into the courthouse while she makes another call outside. As expected, Nicole ditches her appointment in favor of meeting Jimmy, causing the court to issue a bench warrant for Nicole’s arrest. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he is attacked and kidnapped into the back of black SUV just as Nicole arrives in a cab. I TOLD YOU that black SUV was coming back!
Sid, of Sid’s Bail Bonds and also employer of Milo appears and sees Milo passed out on a chair in his shop. He and Milo shoot the shit for awhile and then Sid presents him with a new bail bond job to track down Nicole and bring her to jail, netting him $5000. This elates Milo and he eagerly accepts.
Montage of Milo preparing himself for his job. I used to think Gerard Butler was very attractive. He was masculine, rugged, full of rage, and full of muscles.
Now, at certain angles he sort of looks like he’s taken a frying pan to the face. Greasy, smooshed and a tad doughy, if you will.
Anyway, he arrives at Nicole’s apartment only to find the doorbell unanswered. He breaks in, muddying the carpet, deleting her Tivo, and dropping her toothbrush in the toilet. Meanwhile, Nicole is breaking into Jimmy’s house in search of him. Milo happens upon Stuart in Nicole’s apartment, who has apparently just finished warping via large pipe to World 8 also known as Crazy Town.
Milo holds Stuart at gunpoint, forcing him to explain why he was in the apartment. He tells Milo that he’s there because Nicole failed to show up to court which he suspects is due to her following a lead that he wants to partner with her on. His whole ulterior motive is to pursue a relationship with Nicole, which doesn’t sit well with Milo. Nicole is discovered by Jimmy’s landlady and tells her that she is Jimmy’s girlfriend. She then tells her that Jimmy is missing and asks if it would be ok to take a quick look around to find clues to his whereabouts. I really hope if a landlord or lady of mine is told that I’m missing by a strange person in my home that they dig just a little deeper than Jimmy’s.
Milo and Stuart continue their conversation in the kitchen, with Stuart telling Milo that Nicole talks about him all the time because she hates him so much. Milo gets upset, ending the conversation. He picks up Nicole’s phone and hits redial connecting him to a spa and hotel in Atlantic City where Nicole’s mom is a performer.
Nicole pokes around further at Jimmy’s place, discovering a coaster in his jeans pocket with Walter Lilly’s name on it and “audit evidence depository missing shit” scrawler on the bottom. Ahhh, that explains it all!
Nicole calls Bobby and tells him her worries about Jimmy’s disappearance. Bobby asks what he was looking into and she tells him about the suicide and why it doesn’t add up. As she’s talking, Milo and Stuart leave Nicole’s place. Milo drives to Atlantic City and tracks down Kitty. They are still on good terms and they sit and talk about their break up. OK we get it. These two clowns still love each other. Enough, please.
Milo tells Kitty that he’s looking for Nicole and she says enough in the context of the conversation for Milo to figure out that Nicole is at the racetrack trying to make sense and piece together all her evidence. Whenever I have to think really hard to solve murder mysteries I usually high tail it to the nearest casino myself. Like Nicole, I find the incessant dinging of bells, looming sense of desperation, and decrepit octogenarians smoking their lungs into oblivion quite enlightening.
Stuart calls Nicole, telling her she is in some kind of trouble and demanding to know where she is. He is also at the track after following Milo there. Milo is coincidentally sitting right next to Nicole at this time and they engage in tense small talk. This is apparently the first time they have seen each other since their divorce, and Milo informs Nicole that he is now working as a bounty hunter after being kicked off the police force. He tells Nicole that he’s got to take her to jail, which Nicole of course doesn’t believe and is insistent that she is on the brink of something very important.
He gives her a ten second head start before chasing her through the race track. Cue cutesy montage of chasing and Milo catching her 3 different times. If Nicole was really serious about getting away, she probably should have ditched the heels. That’s just asking for a rolled ankle.
Milo decides to stop fucking around, picks up Nicole and throws her in the trunk which Stuart witnesses from a distance.
The next scene transitions to Jimmy taped up in a tattoo parlor while Dorian, the bad guy from The Mask, threatens him with a tattoo needle to his face. By the way, said black SUV is parked outside the tattoo parlor. A quick Wikipedia search tells him that Dorian’s real name is Peter Greene and he is probably most famous for his role as Zed, the serial killer from Pulp Fiction and he has also starred in The Usual Suspects, Under Siege 2, and Training Day. In P-Baby’s world, he is most famous for his role as Dorian, psycho Jersey mob boss in The Mask. Jimmy tells Dorian about Nicole and the suicide. That’s not going to bode well for Nicole.
The phone rings at Sid’s Bail Bonds and it’s Milo informing them of Nicole’s capture. He gets another call which turns out to be Nicole calling from the trunk. He tells Nicole that Stuart is following them, though he is not worried by this fact. Nicole tries to reason with Milo and says that she needs his advice on something. He doesn’t want to hear it from her and hangs up.
Nicole’s phone rings again and it’s Jimmy! Hooray! She’s elated to hear from him, though what Nicole doesn’t know is that Jimmy is being held hostage by Dorian and forced to tell Nicole that he actually wasn’t kidnapped and had locked the keys in his car. He asks Nicole where she is and she tells him that she’s in Atlantic City. She asks about the stolen evidence and he tries to throw her off the trail by telling her it was all a misunderstanding.
Dorian calls someone for a credit check and recent activity on Nicole. We’ve arrived back at the opening scene of the movie, with Nicole running down the road away from Milo after popping out of the trunk. Now it all makes sense. Fat Guy from 4th of July parade shows up turns out Fat Guy is a bookie after Milo because he owes $11,000 in gambling debt.
Milo has decided to handcuff Nicole to his car, which he probably should have done from the get go. While stopped at a gas station, he explains to her how he tracked her down. He also declares how much he loves being single, claiming he has a girlfriend, which none of is true.
They make their way out of Atlantic City and Nicole offers Milo $500 to let her go. He refuses and tells her he’s getting $5000 to bring her in. She taunts him, saying that he used to be able to turn $500 into $5000 or even $10,000 back in the day. Yeah, if that were true, Milo probably wouldn’t be currently getting hunted for an $11,000 gambling debt.
He uncuffs Nicole and she says that if he wins, he lets her go. Stuart is still tailing them. I’m sure Stuart will come in to play at some point, just like the black SUV did but right now he’s just annoying the shit out of me.
At the casino, Nicole tells Milo about Jimmy and her belief that he’s in trouble. She then talks about the suicide and Milo informs her that every cop knows that suicide jumpers jump feet first, they don’t dive. This is opposite of how good old Walt Lilly jumped, prompting Nicole to wonder why a cop would rule suicide if they all know jumpers go feet first. Milo doesn’t know why this would be, telling Nicole she’d be better off asking the cop who filled out the report. The movie is paused right now but I’d like to bet this shiny quarter right on my coffee table that the cop turns out to be Bobby, the early appearance sidekick who has conveniently been absent from this film just long enough for us to forget about him.
Stuart jumps out his car when he finds Milo’s parked and pops the trunk, trying to save Nicole. He finds the trunk empty but runs into another bookie who has come to collect Milo’s gambling debt. Stuart is an idiot and panics, thinking he is in trouble for busting into Milo’s car and stupidly claims the car as his, resulting in a bashed face. Keep going, slimy guy! Maybe it’ll make his molestache slide off.
Milo and Nicole play craps, with Milo betting all $500 on one play. He wins, and goes on a Rain Man winning spree with their total winnings being $8000. Nicole goes to leave, but Milo won’t let her leave until he wins $10,000. There’s that compulsive gambling streak we all knew existed. He then loses all his winnings. Seriously. This is just stupid.
Even though he’s got no money, Milo has taken Nicole’s credit card to pay for a room at the casino. Remember, kiddies, that Dorian has requested a credit check and current activity on Nicole’s cards, which I’m sure will result in some thugs finding them in their room later. He handcuffs Nicole to the bed while he goes back downstairs to gamble his paycheck from Sid. He returns empty handed and drunk. Milo, I’d like to introduce you to my pal Jeff VanVonderen. He’ll whip you into shape in no time.
Milo falls asleep on the bed next to Nicole. She wakes up an attempts to free herself, landing in a compromising position straddling Milo. He wakes up and accuses her of trying to seduce him. I’ve got no doubt in my mind that Jen and Gerry were knocking boots in their trailers in their off time. He tells her to knock it off and they go back to sleep.
Meanwhile, back in Crazy Town, Stuart is being held captive by the gambling debt collectors after Milo and Fat Guy bangs him up a little with a golf club, even though he knows that he is the wrong guy.
Housekeeping pops in on Nicole handcuffed to the bed and is unfazed, as this is Atlantic City that she works in. She gives Nicole her bag on request while Milo prances around the bathroom in a towel.
He uncuffs Nicole to allow her to go to the bathroom. Unbeknownst to Milo, Nicole has taken a taser out of her bag. She tases him and makes yet another escape, just as Dorian arrives. He sees her in the elevator and realizes that she is getting away.
At this point I really feel like I’ve been watching this movie for-fucking-ever. I stopped it to go to scene selection just to see how much more I had to endure. Would you believe it’s only halfway over? God damn it. Intermission.
Back! Nicole is running down the steps of the casino and calls her office to find out the name of the cop who signed off on the suicide. She finds out the name is…..Bobby Jenkins! Am I good or am I good? Ok, gloating about seeing a plot twist in a Jennifer Aniston movie is like gloating about being President of the Bad Girls Club. Her office also casually asks if she knows where Stuart is, and she has no idea. Nicole sees Dorian trying to find her and hops into one of those bike buggy things on the boardwalk. She hijacks the buggy from the kid and Milo finally comes to on the bathroom floor.
Milo sees Nicole biking down the highway and rams the back of it. She finally stops and starts crying, prompting Milo to get out of the car. Her crying was prompted by a billboard for some Cupid’s marriage place down the road, which I assume is where they were married.
Poor Stuart is still chained up and the gambling hooligans bring a vet doctor in to administer a tranquilizer shot to him. Milo and Nicole are back driving in the car and she notices the black SUV from before is now following them down the road. The SUV drives up next to them and Dorian starts shooting at them from the window. Milo shoots back and fast-paced car chase with guns ensues. Dorian crashes and flips the SUV. He climbs out and while most normal humans would be fucked up and either in shock or knocked out, he’s cognizant enough to steal a minivan from a passerby and escape.
While all this nonsense is going on, Nicole informs Milo that she believes the police are behind the cover up of the suicide and that none of the facts are adding up to the suicide. She also tells him that Bobby was the cop that signed the report for the suicide, which gets Milo fired up and incredulous.
Milo checks the SUV for clues as to who the guy after them was. They find a set of golf clubs and deduce two things. 1. The clubs couldn’t belong to the shooter as they are lefties and shooter is a righty. 2. Their next stop should be a the Castle Hill Country Club, since there is a tag on the club bag from there. Also left behind was a Starbucks cup with the name Earl on it. Remember this.
Chuckleheads 1 and 2 arrive at the club and come up with a quick cover story to get into the club. They get in and ask the caddies if they know anyone named Earl which prompts a guy to unsuspiciously start sprinting away from them. Smooth, Earl. Way to keep a cool head and not panic. Milo and Nicole chase the kid across the golf course, with the chase ending in a lake. The kid gives up information that Earl is a guy that plays golf at the course and he’s a big tipper and that he owns a tattoo parlor called Blue Ink. They call the place and ask for Earl who’s not in. They leave a message that Walter Lilly called.
While they are driving, Bobby calls, warning Milo to get off the road and that half of Jersey is looking for them. Bobby wants to know where Milo is. They pull off the highway and stop at the Cupid Cabin from the earlier tear-prompting billboard. The owners remember them and welcome them in warmly. The owners ask Milo and Nicole how they keep their romance alive since they don’t know of their divorce.
That night Milo and Nicole have dinner and banter back and forth over who knows. I stopped listening and started praying for this to end. In fact, it’s officially time to fast forward. We all know they are going to end up getting back together so I don’t feel it necessary to sit through an evening of “We made a mistake. I miss you,” bullshit. The only thing notable about the past 15 minutes is that the lamp in their room has a decorative lampshade that looks like someone smashed a tarantula on it and Milo discovering Nicole still carries a picture from their wedding day around.
Milo wakes up during the night to find he has been handcuffed to the bed by Nicole. He breaks the headboard, runs out and see her stealing his car to escape.
Fat Guy and gambling hooligans are stopped for gas just as they see Milo’s car drive by. She drives to the Blue Ink tattoo parlor. Milo also manages to get his hands on a car as well and drives away from the Cupid Cabin in pursuit of Nicole. Nicole declares at the tattoo parlor that she wants a large panther tattoo, prompting one of the artists to cancel all his appointments to fit her in. His name is Bone, which is short for Boner. As far as I’m concerned, there is only one Boner.
Nicole says she needs to go to the bathroom and starts sneaking around the parlor. She finds an office and rifles through the desk, discovering a picture of Bobby and others from a police bowling league. She then discovers Jimmy bound in a closet. Right as Nicole releases Jimmy, Earl shows up at the parlor. He sees that Jimmy is gone and knows something is up. Nicole and Jimmy run to the car to escape, failing to see the two gambling hooligans sitting in the backseat.
Hooligans take her to a strip club near Blue Ink Tattoos and force her to call Milo. The hooligans want to use Nicole to prompt Milo’s payment, but he tells them to keep her and hangs up. That sucks, Nicole. He breaks into the trunk of the bookies’ car and finds their stash of cash, stealing it and then calling back to tell them to release her. He has them pass the phone back to Nicole where he tells her he’s at the club and to escape by telling them she needs to use the restroom. While waiting, the bookies see Milo throwing their cash around the club. They get distracted by this and Nicole and Milo escape.
Driving once again, Milo calls an old buddy on the police force asking for Bobby. This guy informs Milo that Bobby is down in the evidence depository and has everyone working double shifts to prepare for a move to a new facility, which involves moving 194,000 pieces of evidence. That’s one hell of a double shift.
These two stake out the evidence building waiting for Bobby to make an appearance, finally seeing him arrive. Bobby runs into Earl who informs Bobby they have a huge problem. A conversation about missing drugs and taking evidence goes on and then the two fire at each other with pistols. Not really sure what happened there but bad guys are always turning on each other in movies so I guess we’ll just go with that. The gunshots are heard by Nicole and Milo who go past security into the depository.
Bobby’s shot and laying on the ground while Earl is flitting around the depository. Bobby tells them that Earl murdered Walter, confirming Nicole’s suspicions. Nicole doesn’t do what she is told, which is to stay with Bobby and takes off to find Milo. Earl sneaks up behind Milo and threatens to shoot him. Nicole finds a gun from an evidence box and shoots, allowing Milo to escape.
Well here’s what caused this whole clusterfuck to happen. Turns out Earl was using Walter to gain access to the narcotics cage at the police department. Due to a parking ticket, Earl was going to be found out and killed Walter, staging the suicide. Good news! Bobby isn’t bad! He was just trying to figure out what the hell was going on without raising suspicion against him.
More good news! Stuart is alive! He was shot with a horse tranquelizer and after waking up calls Nicole and informs her they are over. Milo and Nicole talk about reconciling as they drive away from the scene, though Milo’s got one more trick up his sleeve. He delivers Nicole to the precinct, landing her in the local jail. He then slugs a police officer out front, also landing himself in jail so they can spend their anniversary together. Puke. The end.