"Not all that big, and not particularly bouncy in any discernable way."
Apparently a whole lot of people like Owen Wilson. And I'm certainly one of them. The guy has an off-kilter charm and a mumble-mouthed wit that's been evident on many occasions. But the guy's been in more turkeys than Stove Top Stuffing has. And this semi-breezy but ultimately catatonic heist flick is only the most recent.Jack Ryan (as played by Wilson; no relation to the Tom Clancy character) is an amiable huckster who plies his trade among the beautiful expanses of Hawaii. After whacking his foreman in the face with a baseball bat, Jack finds himself conman non grata on the islands and is ordered to hit the road. He instead gets wrapped up in a scheme to steal a big briefcase of money; his partner in crime is a criminally gorgeous young blonde woman who may or may not be falling for Jack's wily charms.
Or more likely she's just using the sap in an effort to get rich.
If this all sounds a bit vague, that's because The Big Bounce (based upon the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name) is precisely that: vague and wandering and essentially aimless. When the best thing you can say about a movie is that a handful of hard-working character actors manage to salvage it from time to time, you're not exactly talking about a great piece of filmmaking.
Wilson is his usual quick-witted and likable self, though one can't help but realize that Owen Wilson is, quite simply, not leading man material. Sidekick? Absolutely. Part on an ensemble? Definitely. But not the focal point of your movie; his persona is simply too insubstantial to support an entire story. Newcomer Sara Foster emotes precisely like the former model she evidently is, although damn if she doesn't look wonderful in a bikini.
Admirable folks like Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise and Harry Dean Stanton amble into the action from time to time, and though they do manage to breathe some life into the proceedings, their efforts only serve to remind the audience that...there's simply nothing going ON in this movie.
Though The Big Bounce doesn't qualify as a terrible movie (the cast, the locations, and a few truly funny moments salvage it from that classification), it does mark the first real disappointment from director George Armitage. After his Miami Blues and Grosse Pointe Blank, one might expect his third effort to be as darkly funny and colorfully subversive as those two were.Alas, The Big Bounce feels like not much more than a bunch of vacationing Hollywood-ers who decided to make a movie in between scuba diving and conga lines.