Movie Magazine International

The Big Hit

USA - 1998

Movie Review By Blue Velvet

With John Woo as an executive producer and enough grenades to level a cineplex, "The Big Hit" offers viewers even more bang for their buck with an all-star cast of some of the most coveted young faces and physiques. Marking his American debut, Hong Kong gun-crazy director, Kirk Wong, impacts viewers with explosive artillery in a quirky black comedy about a young group of hit men led by Mark Wahlberg. Only the film's bumpy script peppered by plenty of unfunny jokes and cheesy flat dialogue weighs down the film's supreme core of sheer ripping action.

With a hardcore fury beneath a boyish face, Mark Wahlberg stars as Melvin Smiley, an awesome member of a team of contract killers. Constantly finishing up dirty work for his equally drop-dead gorgeous co-killers and hopelessly enslaved to his two lame-headed nefarious girlfriends, Melvin desperately thrives on pleasing others. So determined to scrape up more money for his bubble-headed ladies, Melvin undertakes a job outside of his designated assignment which lands him into tricky territory with dire consequences.

Director Wong blesses "The Big Hit" with his knack for hair-raising stunts, pyrotechnics, and over-the-top car chase scenes. The body count skyrockets as bullets spray and grenades fall like hail. Audiences may elicit screams and howls if not for the intense yet often ridiculously situated destruction but for the close-ups of Antonio Sabato Jr., Christina Applegate, and Lou Diamond Philips. Even Eliot Gould turns out one of the most sickest laughable scenes of the film.

"The Big Hit" possesses the marks of a winner but lacks that mordant humor that sets audiences reeling from a truly well-written black comedy. When the script's inside jokes and slapstick comedy grow trite, the film miraculously pulls out a timely laugh or stunt to kick audiences back into attention. Trailing behind the film's pace and cast, Ben Ramsey's lagging script sorely needs a sharper funnier edge. Yet low budgeted at $13million, "The Big Hit" compensates for its awkward script with a sure-footed cast and a hip intensity.

© 1998 - Blue Velvet - Air Date: 04/29/98

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