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Grade C-: Butler finally 'watchable' in 'Bounty Hunter'

Roger Moore

Three films into his romantic comedy career, Gerard Butler has finally reached "watchable." With "The Bounty Hunter," the bemused Scot leading man comes closer to setting off sparks with his newest leading lady, Jennifer Aniston. Well, closer than he came with Hilary Swank ("P.S. I Love You") or Katherine Heigl ("The Ugly Truth").

The comedy isn't much better than Butler's earlier outings. But at least Aniston can faintly recall the energy it takes to fake the comic charm she had on TV's "Friends."

Butler plays an ex-cop with a gambling problem and a grudge against his ex-wife, a career-minded New York Daily News reporter. Nowadays, Milo Boyd is a bounty hunter, tracking down crooks who skip out on bail.

When Nicole (Aniston) misses a court date and her bail bondsman (Jeff Garlin) is out $50,000, Milo takes the gig. "It's KARMA!" he crows.

But a reporter on a big story involving murder and corruption won't be easy to track. Unless, of course, you used to be married to her. When Milo finds her, he's a good sport.

"Tell you what. You want to make a break for it, I'll give you a 10-second head start, for old time's sake!"

Thus begins a cross-state odyssey in which a killer, the cops and enforcers for a bookie (Cathy Moriarty) chase our never-compatible-couple.

Director Andy "Fool's Gold" Tennant makes sure the whole shooting match devolves into a shooting match, which only makes one appreciate Butler's romantic comedy efforts more. If he's co-starring with Jen, at least he's not making another "Law Abiding Citizen."

Rating: PG-13 for sexuality, language, violence. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes. Theaters: Alamo Lake Creek, Barton Creek, Cinemark Cedar Park, Cinemark Galleria, Cinemark Round Rock, Cinemark Southpark Meadows, Gateway, Lakeline, Metropolitan, Starplex, Tinseltown Pflugerville, Westgate.