I have seen many movies that Owen Wilson has been in. I usually like his movies, so I tend to be willing to give them a chance. I hadn't heard much about The Big Bounce, but I decided to watch it.
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Petty thief Jack Ryan was trying to straighten out in Hawaii. He had an altercation with his supervisor at the construction site he worked out that landed him in jail. After getting out, Walter Crewes decided to give Jack a chance and hired him to work at the hotel he owned.
Jack seemed to be adjusting well to his new job when he started seeing Nancy Hayes, the beautiful young mistress of Ray Ritchie, Jack's former corrupt boss. Nancy wasn't that happy in the relationship and she came up with a plan to steal from Ray. She needed help though, so she approached Jack. He refused at first but soon found himself in the middle of a very complicated situation.
The Big Bounce was based on the book of the same name by Elmore Leonard. I've never read the book, so I don't know exactly what was changed for the movie. I did read online that the book was set in Detroit instead. I think that changing the setting to Hawaii worked well for the movie. There was a lot of beautiful scenery throughout the movie. I think the basic plot involving Jack and Nancy planning to rob Ray remained the same, but I might be wrong about that.
Time was taken early in The Big Bounce to introduce Jack and show the type of person he was and how he was attempting to straighten out his life. He still had some problems with making smart decisions though which did cause him to end up in some bad situations. He was a bit gullible and he let others talk him into things. Once he hooked up with Nancy, most of what was happening was tied to planning the robbery. Some other things connected to other characters were also shown that didn't seem to have anything to do with what was going on. I did wonder a few times why something was even being shown. The purpose for those scenes became clear eventually and they did make certain things more complicated. Some scenes did move very slow, so the pace drags at times.
There was some mystery to what was going on in The Big Bounce. The mystery wasn't that strong, but it did help to keep things interesting. I did wonder how a few things would work out. There were some surprising things that happened while a few other things were more predictable. There was a small amount of suspense in one or two scenes, but that didn't make the movie suspenseful overall. The violence that turned up in a few scenes wasn't that graphic. Jack said and did several funny things, even during a fight at one point, so there was some humor to the movie.
Nancy was having an affair with Ray. They had been involved for a while before The Big Bounce began and basically everyone, including his wife, knew about it. Nancy really didn't seem to care that much about Ray. She was sleeping with other men and planning to rob him yet she stayed in the relationship with him. It was very clear to me that she was just with him for his money. She enticed Jack into a sexual relationship and then got him to agree to her plan to rob Ray. Their relationship really didn't have any substance either. The only reason Nancy went after Jack was because she knew about his criminal past and felt that she needed him for her plan. The movie did have a few sex scenes that were rather mild. Nancy did show off a lot of skin without actually being shown nude since she was frequently wearing bikinis or other revealing outfits.
Jack was trying to turn his life around and put his criminal past behind him. He had good intentions, but he let himself get talked into things that put him back on the path to jail. He was basically a nice guy and he was likable for the most part. Owen Wilson was fine in the part. Nancy was an attractive young woman who seemed willing to use sex to get what she wanted. She was having an affair with a man she didn't even particularly like and planning to rob him. She was also sleeping with other men and using sex to manipulate them. She was a very devious woman. Sara Foster was fine, but nothing special in the part.
Walter was a local judge who stepped in to give Jack a job at the small hotel he owned. He wasn't in a lot of the movie, so Morgan Freeman didn't have that much to do. Ray was a hotel developer who had basically been Jack's boss before the incident at the construction site. Ray had lots of money, but most people didn't seem to like him. He wasn't in much of the movie either. Gary Sinise was fine in the part. Ray's wife Alison turned up in a few scenes. She seemed to be plastered all the time and wasn't happy with her marriage. Bob Jr. worked for Ray and was also mixed up with Nancy.
Sara Foster - Nancy
Morgan Freeman - Walter
Bebe Neuwirth - Alison Ritchie
Charlie Sheen - Bob Jr.
Gary Sinise - Ray Ritchie
Owen Wilson - Jack Ryan
George Armitage - Director
The DVD for The Big Bounce has a few short featurettes on the making of the movie that weren't anything special. There was more about surfing even though that really didn't play much of a part in the movie other than having some surfing being shown in the background a few times.
The Big Bounce was a mildly entertaining movie that could have been a lot better. I did enjoy the beautiful settings in Hawaii, but the plot needed some work. Fans of the cast might find something to enjoy. For me, this was just barely a three star movie.
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