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The Big Bounce

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Big Bounce

Starring: Owen Wilson, Morgan Freeman
Director: George Armitage
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: January 2004
Genres: Comedy, Suspense, Thriller

*Also starring: Butch Helemano, Vinnie Jones, Terry Ahue, Brian L. Keaulana, Gary Sinise, Sara Foster, Andrew Wilson, Willie Nelson, Charlie Sheen

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

THE BIG BOUNCE has the bounce of a beach ball with a six-inch hole. Never have I heard such loudly vocal and universal complaints from the people leaving a screening, saying that the movie stunk -- and worse.

A film that leaves you waiting in vain for a single laugh that never comes, it makes eighty-five minutes feel like an eternity. But, with one glaring exception, it has a good cast -- all wasted. The exception is Sara Foster, who is the female lead in the picture. With zero chemistry with her male costar (Owen Wilson, who does the only good acting in the movie), she shows no visible talent. Since the movie wants to be taken as a sexy comedy, her looks aren't much help either since she has a quite unremarkable face, stringy blonde hair and skinny legs. But the blame for the movie's lackluster quality lies on more than her shoulders. Sebastian Gutierrez's script is threadbare, and George Armitage's direction is absolutely aimless. The main supporting cast (Charlie Sheen, Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise and Bebe Neuwirth) turn in the lamest performances of their careers. In short, THE BIG BOUNCE will undoubtedly bounce right onto many worst of the year lists.

Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, the story concerns Jack Ryan (Wilson), a two-bit scam artist whose biggest heist was two-hundred dollars, and Nancy Hayes (Foster), who wants to help Jack move upscale with his robberies. Nothing really happens until the predictable ending, which features a quick orgy of "surprises." Don't be surprised if you couldn't care less about any of them.

Some movies have gratuitous sex or violence. THE BIG BOUNCE, on the other hand, features lots of gratuitous travelogue moments. Filmed on location in Hawaii, the movie cuts to the surf whenever nothing interesting is happening on the set, which is often. The shock is that they couldn't even get this right. Jeffrey L. Kimball's cinematography is downright dull. But that does fit right in with the rest of the film, which is as dull as dishwater.

THE BIG BOUNCE runs a very long 1:25. The film is rated PG-13 for "sexual content and nudity, violence and language" and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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