"The convolutions, once they begin, stack up plenty high."
A remake of the forgotten 1969 film of Elmore Leonard’s mini-caper novel, is little and low-key enough that it, too, will be forgotten not long from now. (Judging from the initial box office receipts, it was forgotten before it could be remembered.)Which is not to say that the transitory fun it includes cannot be enjoyed during its company. A drifter con man (Owen Wilson) is to be run out of Hawaii after taking a bat to the head of his employer, but not before a deal is made with an unscrupulous judge (Morgan Freeman) for him to stick around and get caught up in a hatched plot with a local femme fatale (the emaciated Sara Foster) to fleece $200,000 from her lover — who owns the company Wilson was fired from, and whose planned construction of a resort threatens Freeman’s own little monopoly on the area. The convolutions, once they begin, stack up plenty high, but it takes a while to get the motion going before realizing you’re already standing in the middle of a bunch of stagy twists. As the title suggests, it tends to be bouncy in that flippant, rhythmic attitude, the winkingly self-assuredness so prevalent in the actual assuredness of Get Shorty. But seeing as how this is directed and written by nobodies, it cannot efface the excess smarty-pants reflexivity of the source material (or embellish them like Tarantino so superbly did with Rum Punch’s transformation into Jackie Brown) without going completely overboard with them. There is still a fair share of charisma to be doled out, and the kooky casting choices and odd cameos that turn up admittedly bring to it an airy breeze of satisfaction, which is also being constantly brought to your attention by the obligatory wave scenery that is slightly above-average for its normal use. On the other hand, the concealed treatment of Foster’s nudity, a desperate attempt to open up to the PG-13 crowd, is very un-adult and the lamest in its laidback ways. With Charlie Sheen, Gary Sinise, Bebe Neuwirth, Vinnie Jones, Willie Nelson, and Harry Dean Stanton; directed by George Armitage.[Worth-seeing.]