The Bounty Hunter Promo Poster

My mind was wondering on the tube today, as it often does, and decided to settle upon a new poster for The Bounty Hunter.  Looks fun, I thought.

Gerard Butler built up his star persona in ‘bloke’ films – Rock ‘N’ Rolla, 300 – then started to appear in romantic comedies – P.S. I Love You, The Ugly Truth, and now, The Bounty Hunter.  He tricked us men!  He lured us in to Gerard-the-lad world so deep that we never realised it’s a ‘chick flick’.

Consider The Ugly Truth – a film that I haven’t seen, I’ll admit now – but from what I understand has its particular ‘comedy’ emphasis on the gross out.  The Bounty Hunter, likewise, appears to take a more male-centric genre, action, and adapt it for romance.  Katherine Hegel stars alongside him in the former, an actress who cemented her status in Knocked Up – another male-centric film (see: Judd Apatow’s casual, but probably not intended, sexism).

I presume men and women adore Gerard Butler about equally, as they probably both do for Hegel, and in the most recent case, for the sympathy pit Jennifer Aniston.  The rom-com is shifting in demographic by targeting both halves of the heterosexual gender, by making films that appeal just as much to a particular concept of the male spectator

I digress.  My original point – the poster:

In the version I saw, the catch line read “LOCKING UP YOUR EX. BEST JOB EVER”.  Thanks to a signal failure at Upminster, I stared at the poster a little longer than it’s probably meant to be.  My first impression, as I previously wrote, was “that looks fun”.

Staring at it longer though, parts and sections of it began to pop out at me like a horny Robert Langdon working on a clue.  Gerard Butler is sitting on top of Jennifer Aniston WITH HANDCUFFS.  The tagline reads “LOCKING UP YOUR EX”??!?  Straight away we have Aniston tied to a bed, submissive, as her place in the poster suggests, underneath a panting, oscillating Butler.  Follow this train of thought.  “BEST JOB EVER”?!??!?*?:S!  Any way one reads that, the sentence’s emphasis purely lies in ‘job’.  Hand job?  Blow job?  Steve Jobs?  Take your pick.  Both actors have half-smiles.  How alluring!  They’re doing something kinky, and you can only be in on it if you watch the film.  Why not opt for a more conventional Aniston grump and Butler laughing approach?  Considering the film’s narrative, that would surely be more suitable.  Additionally, the version of the poster I saw had The Bounty Hunter in a red strip across its lower third.  A red band?  The most forbidden of trailers…

Why this preoccupied my thoughts since is because of the levels the poster works on.  Initially, I thought it looked fun.  But really?  What in that poster suggests ‘fun’?  Bar my own experience of Butler ‘fun’, nothing about the poster makes one ‘lol’, or dare I say, ‘rofl’.  Yet the mini-Freud lurking around the ol’ medulla oblongata felt the need to secrete a few of the specialty hormones.

It’s fascinating how many things must register on a subconscious level – things that, however harmless or disguised, alter one’s subjectivity.  Just like when getting a professional massage, it’s odd to realise someone else can know more about your body than you do.  Likewise, when acknowledging the manipulative effects of a promotional poster, you’re acknowledging an advertiser knows more about your own brain.

I’m aware that this has been covered by a great many people who have far more insightful comments (as pointed out by my girlfriend when I told her), but those moments of recognition never fail to wrong foot you.

It doesn’t matter any more, though.  I found a poster that turns me on way more

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One response to “The Bounty Hunter Promo Poster

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