Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope proves once and for all that most bouncers are beasts. Director Steven Cantor suggests that these doormen (yes, some do like to be called that) are as equally prone to violence as they are to peace. Homer “Omer” Cook is a class act, a part-time make-up artist tuned into the verbal bullshit ladies will use to finagle their way into a club. You root for Terence “The Black Prince” Buckley because he’s all teddy bear inside (he wants to do right by his son and dreams of buying his momma a BMW). Eric Mojica, head of a bouncing org, is the film’s balanced, moral center: a super-chic New York dude who understands bouncer pathology and door etiquette. Bounce’s flaw is how Cantor seemingly extols a grueling masochism—most of film’s big guys are ghouls and Cantor talks down most of them (not to say, though, that some of them don’t deserve our scorn). Jordan Maldonado is a self-proclaimed “thug” with a fondness for the violence his job affords him (he hates working gay clubs because gay boys like to play nice). Maldonado isn’t so much scary as he is ignorant and dangerous: he’s a closet homophobe who teaches his toddler that violence is good and, in one frightening moment, longs for the day when his boy will have the luxury of legally killing a man (makes you almost wish that his kid would turn pink). Cantor’s dramatic reconstructions lack grace (he’s no Errol Morris). Still, there is a strange loopiness to the film’s otherwise empty space. The film’s bouncer twins (fans of tan beds and Sylvester Stallone) play football together but can’t even catch the ball. Maldonado may annoy but he represents everything that is wrong with nightlife and humanity: he refuses to perform CPR on anyone other than family (swapping saliva with a stranger is too unpleasant even if it means saving a life). He makes you wish that it were legal to kill a man.
- 90 min
- Steven Cantor
- Black Prince, Omar Cook, Alan Crosley, Frank DeMaio, Mike DeMaio, King, Jordon Moldonado, Lenny McLean, Eric Mojica, Joe Papa, Steven Rivera
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