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February 3, 2004 > Movie Review: The Big Bounce

Movie Review: The Big Bounce

Rated: PG-13

by Jeremy Inman

On the outside, The Big Bounce appears to be just another "who's double crossing who?" caper flick with the usual sudden plot twists and shady characters. Unfortunately, in many ways it is just another caper movie, but there are moments and aspects of this movie that save it from being a complete stinker. First of all, The Big Bounce isn't trying to fool anyone. It's obvious what you're getting into when you go see this movie. It's an easy-going, slightly romantic comedy set in Hawaii and packed with past-their-prime but still enjoyable actors. So if you're out for blood, it's clear that you should avoid this film. On the other hand, The Big Bounce is a sufficiently entertaining film, especially for a weekend of very few worthwhile new releases. It's got plenty of funny moments (most of which are supplied by Owen Wilson) and it's not romantic enough to be considered a chick-flick, which makes it a worthwhile expense for a group friends out to catch a movie, especially at matinee prices.

The Big Bounce stars Owen Wilson in his typical role as a sarcastic but likeable troublemaker. In The Big Bounce, Wilson plays Jack Ryan, a small time crook who specializes in breaking and entering. Like in any of his films, Wilson delivers his lines in an off-kilter almost monotone manner that somehow seems to work for him. Almost every one of Wilson's lines has something to laugh about, and he is easily the most entertaining character in the film. Jack has migrated his way to Hawaii, where he is seeking a life of peace as a construction worker. When he is fired due to a tiff with the foreman of a hotel project and subsequently arrested, Jack is warned by both the police and Ray Richie, the seedy owner of the hotel project (played by Gary Sinise) to leave Hawaii and return to the mainland. However, when Jack comes into contact with Richie's seductive and manipulative mistress Nancy Hayes (Sara Foster) she convinces him to stick around long enough to steal $200, 000 from Richie's hunting cabin.

The film delivers enjoyable performances from every player on the cast, including appearances by Morgan Freeman as a Hawaiian Judge/resort owner who takes Jack under his wing and Charlie Sheen as Richie's incompetent right hand man. The movie is quite enjoyable, and the surreal Hawaiian setting is a welcomed and unique step away from the usual crime film setting, which lends the entire movie a comfortable and easy-going feel. Combined with the Polynesian music and sweeping beach sequences, The Big Bounce is quite a throw away from the seedy back alley feel of the average crime film. The movie is worth seeing in theaters if you're in the mood to laugh, as Owen Wilson alone is usually reason enough to watch a film, but for those who don't catch it on the silver screen, I suspect it will pick up sales when the DVD hits the shelves.

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