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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Bad poi boogie

Movie: The Big Bounce

Posted on Thu, Jan 29, 2004 at 4:00 AM

***
The Big Bounce
Studio: Warner Bros.
Website: http://thebigbounce.warnerbros.com/
Release Date: 2004-01-30
Cast: Owen Wilson, Morgan Freeman, Sara Foster, Gary Sinise, Bebe Neuwirth
Director: George Armitage
Screenwriter: Sebastian Gutierrez
WorkNameSort: The Big Bounce
Our Rating: 3.00

You have to admire any movie that can convince you congenital milksop Owen Wilson is a charming, roguish criminal, and "The Big Bounce" goes about that subterfuge the right way: portraying Wilson's character, Jack Ryan, as a petty thief who continually admits his own fragility. His laid-back, low-stakes dishonesty informs the movie's first half, in which the ne'er-do-well Jack gets caught in the middle of a Hawaiian rivalry buoyed by the Big Three vices of greed, sex and hotel construction. Morgan Freeman brings island-dweller composure to the part of a scheming district judge, and as the shady beach babe our hero covets, Sara Foster does more than just stuff a wild bikini. All three comport themselves with cocktail-hour naughtiness, making the picture (the second filmed adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel) a kind of travelogue for scalawags. When it's time to get past the nonchalance, however, "Bounce" flounders, throwing out its requisite denouement of big scores and double-crosses with an uncommitted abruptness that barely stoops to narrative coherence. Either director George Armitage had used up his own hotel budget or there's a whole bunch of excised footage waiting to be unearthed on the DVD. Includes supporting performances/glorified cameos by Gary Sinise, Charlie Sheen, Bebe Neuwirth, Harry Dean Stanton, Vinnie Jones and Willie Nelson.

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