The Big Bounce George Armitage

The Big Bounce George Armitage
The Big Bounce is less an actual movie than it is footage from some bankable Hollywood stars vacationing in Hawaii. There's really no other way to explain this deplorable mess of a script and its waste of such a talented cast. Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty, Out of Sight), this film had the potential to be a witty con-job caper on par with Quentin Tarantino's brilliant Jackie Brown, which itself was based on Leonard's Rum Punch. Instead, director George Armitage (Grosse Point Blank) steers the all-star ensemble into oblivion with a flimsy plot and half-realised dialogue. Owen Wilson plays Jack Ryan, a petty thief who is embroiled in a feud with his former employers: a wealthy resort entrepreneur named Ray Ritchie (Gary Sinise) and his right-hand man Bob (Charlie Sheen). After a rival developer (Morgan Freeman) befriends and employs him, Ryan soon ends up enamoured by Ritchie's blonde, young mistress Nancy (newcomer Sara Foster), who convinces him that a major score is right under their nose. As the plot develops, it becomes unclear who's scamming whom exactly but a series of double-crosses are underfoot, which are impossible to follow. Aside from a lack of coherence in its primary storyline, The Big Bounce also seems distracted by its surroundings. While Leonard's story took place in gritty Detroit, the screenplay transplants the tale to the North Shore of sunny Oahu. Thus there are countless shots of surfers intertwined within the action of the film's plot. Though they are stunning examples of filmmaking, the fact is they are completely irrelevant to the story itself and only serve as filler. There are even two surfing-related featurettes on the DVD, including the un-narrated "Surfing the Pipeline: Surfing in the Aloha State" that could have been produced by Hawaii's tourism board. The actors provide little insight into the illogical plot in a "making of" feature. Instead they actually admit that shooting the film often felt like a distraction from their vacations. Though the cast may have treated The Big Bounce as a mere diversion, there's no good reason for it to occupy any intelligent film audience's time. (Warner)