Making the Grades
Jack Ryan (Owen Wilson) is clearly plagued by bad luck and a series of bad choices. A con man with a record, he decides to make a clean start for himself on the tropical beaches of Hawaii. There he gets a job with a construction crew working for a shady land developer, Ray Ritchie (Gary Sinise). But when Jack takes out his personal frustrations on the site foreman (Vinnie Jones) with a baseball bat, it's evident his chances for a turnaround are severely hampered by his sheer stupidity.
After spending some time in the cooler, Jack needs a little coinage to tide him over. At the suggestion of a former coworker, he pulls off a daytime break-and-enter where he relieves some partying houseguests of their wallets and cell phones. But even a cash influx doesn't make all well in paradise. Still angry about the press attention caused by the bat incident, his past employer's right-hand man approaches the cocky criminal and strongly suggests he leave the island.
Then a change in the climate occurs for Jack when a local district judge, Walter Crewes (Morgan Freeman), offers him a job at his homey beachside resort.
While pulling off some easy labor as the motel handyman, Jack gets a good look at Ray's frolicking, young plaything. Pouting and promiscuous, Nancy Hayes (Sara Foster) has a reputation on the island for spending too many of her adolescent years in trouble. But the judge's warnings to Jack merely entice the recent jailbird. Waiting until the land developer is away on business, Jack makes a bold move on the beach-loving blonde who has a hard time keeping her clothes on, a problem that gives audiences plenty of scenes with backside skin and shadowed nudity.
Realizing that Jack is a crook in his own right, Nancy initially sweet-talks him into hotwiring a car with her and then proposes a plan to steal $200,000 of hush money from her well-heeled lover. However, their scheme runs into the reef when Ray's wife (Bebe Neuwirth) returns to the island and sends the little mistress scooting out of the palatial digs.
Philandering husbands, shrewish women and wads of tempting legal tender that inspire murder plots are the basis for this ?con-the-con? scenario. A generous dose of profanities (including rude hand gestures) and frank sexual banter round out the tortuous portrayal of these self-absorbed swindlers that even glistening ocean waves and lush, sunny backdrops can't temper. Offering little to audiences in the way of storyline or acting prowess, The Big Bounce is a big bomb.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Big Bounce.
What qualities does Nancy have that appeal to Jack? Are they characteristics that prove to be advantageous to building a relationship?
What consequences does Jack face for his actions? Do the other characters face any repercussions for their antics?