THE BOUNTY HUNTER
NOTE: This spoiler was written by Kristen.
The movie opens with Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) driving down a freeway in his Blue Delta 88. He realizes there is smoke coming from the trunk of his car and he starts calling out “Nic? Nicole?” before pulling over on the side of the road. He opens up the trunk, which is billowing smoke, and Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston) punches him in the crotch before jumping out and dropping the road flare that was making the smoke. She takes off running and Milo takes after her. Freeze frame of Nicole “Felon” and then Milo “Bounty Hunter”, then “Ex Husband” and “Ex Wife”. Milo tackles Nicole and on screen it then shows “24 Hours Earlier"..
Cut to a 4th of July parade and Milo looking for someone in the crowd. Another shot of a menacing looking brute - Dwight - also making his way through the crowd. Milo spots someone and says “Bingo” while Dwight says “Jackpot”. Milo is after a man on stilts dressed as Uncle Sam in the parade, while Dwight is after Milo. Just as Milo is about to grab his man, Dwight confronts him and says, “You owe my boss money”. Milo replies that he owes everyone money and after a brief scuffle, head butts Dwight and takes off after Uncle Sam. A chase ensues through an apartment building and onto the rooftop before Milo tackles the man and they go off the building and onto the top of a police van. The officers take in both men after Milo and one of the policemen get into some verbal sparring over Milo being a bounty hunter and not having a real job.
Next scene shows Nicole arriving at her job at the Daily News. She asks a co-worker if they got the info she requested on a suicide and he gives her some next of kin info. As she arrives at her desk, there is a print out of her mug shot taped to her monitor with a note for her not to forget court the next day at 9am. Nic was arrested for assaulting a police officer. A cheesy coworker, Stuart, tries to get info about the story she is working on and asks to work with her on it, wanting to also work on their “relationship”. It’s revealed that the two made out at the office Christmas party and Stuart has an obvious obsession with Nicole. Although Nic makes it clear she has no interest, it doesn’t deter Stuart.
Escaping to the women’s restroom, Nic calls an informant, Jimmy, who is a working as a bartender. She asks him to ask around about the suicide of Walter Lilly on 06/23 and he agrees. Nic mentions that she knows there was a black SUV with stolen plates at the scene. Stuart is listening in on the conversation from the next stall and once again tries to get Nic to let him work with her on the story.
Nicole goes to the rooftop where Walter Lilly committed suicide and gets a call from her mom, Kitty. (Christine Baranski). When she asks her mom’s opinion about jumping off a roof into trees or onto concrete, Kitty misunderstands and thinks Nicole is contemplating suicide. She tells Nicole that although her life is a mess and the marriage to Milo was a mistake, those aren’t reasons enough to kill herself. When Nicole explains she is working on a story, Kitty is relieved. They agree that someone committing suicide would jump towards the concrete, not into trees.
Next we see Milo being bailed out of jail by his friend, Bobby, and then the two having lunch. Bobby mentions that he knows it’s a tough time of year for Milo and how bad he feels that he is the one that set up Milo and Nicole. Milo insists that he’s not bothered by the divorce and doesn’t miss her at all.
The next day, Nicole’s lawyer is waiting outside the courthouse while leaving a message on her voice mail. She arrives with 4 minutes to spare and assures her lawyer it will all be fine. As they are walking in, Nic gets a call from Jimmy. He found something out that can’t wait and already thinks he may be in trouble. Tells her to meet him in a half hour at Dunkin’ Donuts or else he’ll sell the info to someone else. Nicole tells her lawyer that she’ll meet him inside and takes off to meet Jimmy. When her case is called inside the courtroom, the judge revokes her bail and issues a warrant for her arrest.
At Dunkin’ Donuts, Jimmy is waiting for Nicole in his car when someone smashes the window with a crowbar and drags him out of the vehicle. Nicole arrives by taxi just in time to see a black SUV speeding away from the parking lot.
Milo is sleeping on the couch in Sid’s Bail Bonds when Sid arrives. He asks what plans Milo has for the weekend, other than getting drunk and punching things. He finally tells Milo about the warrant for Nicole and maybe Milo isn’t the right person for the job, as he gets nuts around her. Milo responds that he won’t break a sweat and is giddy at the thought of earning $5000 for bringing his ex-wife to jail. That, plus what he earned for bringing in the man from the parade scene, will help him get out of the hole with his bookie.
Milo prepares for the job and breaks into Nicole’s apartment. He tracks mud on her carpet, eats some food, drops her toothbrush in the toilet (then puts in back), before settling down on her bed, eating cheese Doritos and deleting the shows Nicole had recorded on Tivo. Cut to Nicole opening the apartment door, and apparently sensing something is wrong, she explores each room. At the same time, Milo hears the door open and, after wiping his hands on her pillow, grabs his gun and creeps down the hallway. As they each near a corner, Nicole picks up a picture frame and jumps around the corner, hitting a cat with the frame. At the same time Milo points his gun, startling Stuart. Milo and Nicole are in different apartments. As Milo quizzes Stuart, Nicole is at Jimmy’s apartment, looking for clues to what he found out about the suicide. Caught by Jimmy’s mom (?), she says she is Jimmy’s girlfriend, LaQuisha, and is trying to find him. Lying on the floor of the bathroom is a pair of pants, and Nicole finds a coaster in the pocket with a note that says “Audit Evidence Depository. Missing shit”. Nicole calls Bobby and tells him that Jimmy is missing. Bobby is at the evidence locker when she calls and he says he will let her know what he finds out.
Back at Nicole’s apartment, Milo hits redial on her phone and the call goes to Borgota Hotel in Atlantic City. “Home to momma” he remarks.
In Atlantic City, Milo visits Kitty at the hotel/casino where she is a performer. After slapping Milo for messing up her daughter’s life, the two talk and it’s clear that Kitty likes Milo and tells him that Milo & Nicole shouldn’t have divorced and the two would have had beautiful children. He asks where Nicole is and Kitty says she doesn’t know, but that Nic had cancelled their lunch date to “suck up some luck”. With a knowing look in his eyes, Milo takes off.
Nicole is sitting at the racetrack, working on her story when Stuart calls her cell phone. He lets slip that he knows she’s at the racetrack and as she’s asking how he knows that (he has been following Milo), hears “Hello Nic”. Milo is sitting next to her. As they talk we find out that this is the first time they’ve seen each other since the divorce, that Milo was kicked off the police force, and he reveals that he is a bounty hunter, there to take her in. He gives her a head start and after catching her several times and letting her go again, finally picks her up and puts her in the trunk of his car. Stuart sees this and continues following the pair.
Meanwhile, Jimmy is being threatened by his kidnapper at a tattoo parlor. Afraid for his life, he reveals that he was asking about the suicide for Nicole and that she knows about the SUV with stolen plates. Still in the trunk, Nicole takes a phone call from Jimmy. Relieved that he’s alive, she tries to get more info from him. With the man holding a gun on him, Jimmy tries to convince her that it was all nothing and to drop the story. Before she can learn anything, the bad guy hangs up Jimmy’s phone.
This brings the movie to the opening scene of the smoke coming from the trunk of the car and Nicole’s attempted escape.
Dwight is shown walking into his boss’ office - Irene. He has two black eyes and Irene has had enough of Milo being a deadbeat. She has Ray look up his account and he is over $11,000 in debt. She instructs Ray and Dwight to bring him in, break something on his body, and get the debt collected. Meanwhile, with Nicole handcuffed to the door of Milo’s car, he is explaining how he tracked her down and she is surprised he knows so much about her. He tells her he has a great girlfriend and loves his life (all lies). Nicole offers him $500 to let her go and he laughs, since he will get $5000 when he takes her in. She remarks that the Milo Boyd she knew could walk into any casino and turn $500 into $5000, even $10000.
The two arrive at the Taj Majal casino and Milo says that if he can win $10000 he will let her go. Stuart is still following them and sees the car at the casino. Nicole tells Milo the background on her suicide story and he tells her that any cop would know that someone going head first off a roof isn’t a suicide, that suicides go feet first. She asks why a cop would sign the report saying it was suicide, then? Milo says he doesn’t know, that she should ask that cop. She also tells him that Walter worked for the NYPD as an evidence clerk and was afraid of heights.
Stuart, thinking that Nicole is still in the trunk of Milo’s car, finds the car in the parking lot and is opening the trunk when Ray approaches him and knocks him out by slamming his head into the car.
Milo wins $8000 at the craps table before losing it all. He handcuffs Nicole to the bed in their hotel room and takes his check from Sid to try and win again. Instead, he loses everything and drags himself back to the room, drunk. Nicole tries to get his gun off the nightstand when she thinks Milo is asleep, but is unsuccessful. We find out that they dated six months before they were married and the marriage only lasted 9 months.
Back at Irene’s, Stuart is being held hostage by Irene and Ray. When Dwight arrives, Irene hands him a golf club and he whacks Stuart in the knee. After saying he feels better, he asks Irene where Milo is. Irene sends them back out together to find Milo.
Housekeeping arrives at the hotel to find Nicole handcuffed to the bed. Completely unfazed, the maid gives Nicole her bag when asked and Nicole takes something out. When Milo comes out of the shower, she asks if he will uncuff her so she can go to the bathroom. Although suspicious, Milo lets her. When he walks into the bathroom, Nicole zaps him with a taser and escapes. As she is getting on one elevator, the bad guy who was torturing Jimmy gets off the other elevator and they make eye contact.
Nicole calls one of her co-workers to find out who signed the police report for the suicide. It was her friend, Bobby Jenkins. Without transportation or money, she hijacks a bicycle carriage and heads out of town. Milo catches up with her and gets her back into his car. She breaks down in tears after spying a billboard for “Cupids Cabin” bed and breakfast. She tries to get him to take the situation seriously, but he discounts everything she says - until the black SUV pulls up beside them and the man starts shooting at them. Milo shoots back and after a short chase scene, the SUV careens off the road and rolls several times. Before Milo can capture the man, he car jacks a vehicle and escapes. Milo and Nicole search the SUV and find a Starbucks cup with the name “Earl” and a set of barely used golf clubs with a tag from Castle Hill Golf Club.
They head to the golf club and manipulate their way into the private club so they can try to find out more about Earl. Milo says they need to ask the only people there who know everything about everyone - the caddies. When they approach a group of caddies and ask about Earl, one of the young men takes off running. After a chase across the course and a crash into a pond, they catch the caddy and he says he doesn’t know anything about the drugs and money. He doesn’t know Earl’s last name, but shows them a tattoo he got as a tip from Earl, done at the Blue Ink tattoo parlor.
Back on the road, Milo calls the tattoo parlor and asks for Earl. When the receptionist says he isn’t there, Milo leaves a message from “Walter Lilly”. He then gets a call from Bobby, telling them to lay low as ½ of New Jersey is looking for Milo and the other half is looking for Nicole. Milo drives to Cupid’s Cabin so they can figure out what to do. The owners of the B&B remember the couple, even though it’s been three years since they were there on their honeymoon and comment how they made such an impression because they were so in love and the perfect couple. Since their clothes are dirty from the crash into the golf course pond, they are loaned clothes and enjoy dinner together. At dinner, they both apologize for mistakes they made and it is clear they still have feelings for each other
Back in their room, Nicole is in the bathroom, talking to her mom on the phone. When she says that Milo apologized and that she no longer remembered why she didn’t like him, her mom advises her to go for it - few people ever get a second chance. Nicole declares that she will and gets naked. In the other room, Milo is lighting candles when the rest of their champagne from dinner is brought to the room. Looking for a tip in Nicole’s purse, he finds a wedding picture. Confused, he calls Teresa and Sid at the bail bonds office for advice. Sid tells him it’s nothing, while Teresa says it means Nicole still loves him. Nicole comes out of the bathroom just as Milo tells Sid that even if he gets laid, it’s not going to change anything and he’s still bringing Nicole into the police. Nicole goes back into the bathroom, heartbroken.
After a tense evening, with Milo being totally confused at Nicole’s turnaround in attitude, Milo wakes up handcuffed to the bed and Nicole taking the car keys and leaving. She heads to the Blue Ink tattoo parlor. Milo breaks the headboard to escape and pretends to be a valet at the bed & breakfast in order to get a car.
Nicole pretends to be interested in getting a tattoo to gain access to the parlor. While snooping upstairs she finds a picture of Earl and Bobby on a police bowling league and then finds Jimmy tied up in the closet. They escape just as they hear the receptionist downstairs saying “Oh, a Walter Lilly called for you” and Earl soon discovers that Jimmy is gone. Jimmy tells Nicole that Earl is a cop, and a drug dealer, and that he overheard him making an appointment to meet with Bobby. When they get back to the car, Ray & Dwight are in the back seat and tell Jimmy to get lost.
Milo spots his car in a parking lot just as he gets a call from Nicole. She is in a strip club with Irene’s goons and is pissed that Milo has a gambling debt, and he needs to pay so they’ll let her go. Milo tells Dwight to keep her. Milo sees Dwight’s car and pops the trunk while talking to Nicole. He finds a bag of cash and tells Nicole to go to the bathroom and to tell Dwight he’ll be there in 20 minutes. As the two men wait for Nicole outside the restroom, Milo starts dumping the cash around the club, causing a riot as everyone tries to grab the bills. Dwight and Ray realize what’s happening and try to get some of Irene’s money back. During the commotions, Milo and Nicole escape.
Back on the road, Milo calls his friend Kenny at the police department and finds out that Bobby is at the depository and that the department is in the process of moving all the evidence there to a new facility. Nicole tells Milo that maybe it’s not what it looks like and Milo responds that it’s almost always what it looks like.
Earl is at the depository, putting bags of drugs into a bag, when Bobby arrives. When Earl realizes Bobby is there to stop him, he shoots Bobby. Milo and Nicole hear the gunshots and Milo forces the guard to open up the gate so they can go in. They find Bobby in the elevator, bleeding from the gunshot. He tells Milo that Earl has his gun. Milo goes after Earl. Nicole can’t stand waiting and goes into the warehouse as well, ignoring Bobby’s pleas to stay put. Earl has a gun to Milo’s head when Nicole takes a shotgun out of an evidence box and shoots at Earl after he calls her “girl”. When Earl turns to fire at Nicole, Milo knocks him over and out.
The next scene is outside the building with police cars and ambulances on scene. Bobby explains that Walter Lilly had been helping Earl steal things from the depository and when he wanted out, Earl had killed him. Bobby had been tracking Earl for several weeks but hadn’t been able to find evidence against him until Nicole found out about the SUV with stolen plates. Stuart calls Nicole while limping down the road, moaning that his leg is broken and he was tranquilized by the track vet with horse tranquilizers.
Driving once again, Nicole tells Milo that she wants to blow off the story and take him home, but she can’t. He says he understands that sometimes her job needs to come first, just like sometimes his job will have to come first. He pulls up in front of the police station and Nicole can’t believe he is really taking her in. She is taken into custody and uses her one phone call to call in her story. Leaving the police station, Milo is confronted by the police officer who antagonized him at the parade and punches him in the face so he can be taken into custody.
The movie ends with the couple in adjacent cells, kissing through the bars.