The Big Bounce is a film that’s been made before, but this time with a different cast and a money-hungry exec hoping public amnesia will lead to big figures. Just what multiplexes need: a crime-caper with an awkward game of cat and mouse intertwined with a paper-thin plot.
Owen Wilson is an actor of limited depth and, while appealing in some roles (mainly complementing lead stars), he fails to deliver as the star of Bounce. Morgan Freeman and Charlie Sheen play supporting roles that make Bounce somewhat of a gratifying guilty pleasure that is soon forgotten.
The movie relies too much on tired clichÃ©s and obvious humor rather than striving to revive a genre that has passed its expiration date.
Jack (Wilson) is a small-time criminal with a free-spirited personality that attracts the wrong kind of attention, mostly that of local law enforcement. A peaceful protest takes a violent turn due to a hot-headed foreman and his painful introduction to Jack’s bat. After a brief stint in the local jail, Jack is visited by Bob Rogers Jr. (Sheen) who tells him to leave his Hawaiian town and never look back.
While preparing to pack and leave, Jack makes friends with district judge Walter (Freeman) and his wandering eye lands on island beauty Nancy (Sara Foster). Walter, taken by Jack’s attitude, offers him a job running simple maintenance for his beachside bungalows, where his infatuation with Nancy leads to a got-to-get-the-girl pursuit.
But Nancy is not impressed by big cars or fancy duds. Instead, she gets her kicks by stealing, lying and anything else that threatens to send Jack back to the cell block.
Not unlike Out of Sight, this plot element offers little to viewers besides some scattered laughs and an expected twist that becomes obvious even before the stars embark on a $200,000-heist. As the plan unfolds, loose-ends thought to be taken care of begin to come apart and the problem is no longer the money but who is trustworthy.
Bounce has clever direction and a cinematographic feel that uses bright colors as the backdrop for this costal crime-caper. The bright color palette is the most refreshing part of the film.
Foster gives a mediocre performance that comes off a bit too unbelievable to swallow. She radiaties innocence that contrast a character written with a dark past and a lust for crime. Otherwise, her performance is decent and does not get lost within the film’s all-star cast.
Bounce proves Wilson maybe a better straight man than a comic lead. Instead, Freeman and Sheen give Bounce its most memorable moments and hardest laughs.
Bounce is a fine film for audiences with no objection to seeing the same filck with different faces, but for the most part the movie is too familiar for its own good and stands as purely forgettable entertainment.
Comedy, PG-13, Running time: 108 min.