Picks and Pans Review: The Big Bounce

updated 02/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

CRIME CAPER

Owen Wilson, Morgan Freeman, Sara Foster, Charlie Sheen

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Some movies, such as 2001's Ocean's Eleven, coast by on knockabout charm. They don't make a lot of sense and there isn't much at stake, but they are still loads of fun to watch. Not so The Big Bounce, a painfully meandering comedy based on an Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. (Ryan O'Neal and Leigh Taylor-Young, wed at the time, appeared in an equally undistinguished but sexier 1969 film version.)

Wilson is Jack Ryan, a drifter working as a hotel handyman in Hawaii. He hooks up with a rich man's spoiled mistress (Foster), who suggests they steal $200,000 from her sugar daddy's safe.

The preternaturally cool Wilson is amusing enough, but Foster, a tall, skeleton-thin model-TV hostess (ET on MTV) making her movie debut, is beyond abysmal. Watching her try to summon up an expression—any expression—is akin to seeing a hapless game-show contestant mentally flail for an answer before blurting out a laughably erroneous choice. (PG-13)

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