Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Big Hit (1998)

The Big HitI've trashed more than my fair share of big, brainless action flicks for being stupid, unbelievable, and nasty. But for some reason, either by merit of the film itself or some fluke in my taste, I like THE BIG HIT. If the former is true, here is why.

There are those of us who peruse the direct-to-video bins of action and horror movies in a desparate search of fun. THE BIG HIT, although released theatrically, is everything that you desire while looking at direct-to-video crap, but never get, and its infinitly better.

Make no mistakes: this movie is vulgar, crass, and shameless. It even crossed my line with the vomiting scene, but I managed. The film finds hit man Melvin Smiley set up to take the fall for a major screw-up by his hipster co-workers whilst dealing with being a pushover to his fiancee and girlfriend.

Maybe the fact that this film has such a plot, a plot that is relevant to the action and interesting is what makes it exciting. The characters are stimulating and provided vibrant dialogue. Through the pretty routine directing, it's Ben Ramseys script that makes the thing so fun. The action sequences are pretty by the numbers, as I've mentioned, but there are moments or rhythm and sublime carnage beneath the rest of it.

The film has a hard-hitting and pulsating score by Graeme Revell, which is also notable in its genre for its themes and concentration on doing more than making noise.

Be warned: those who do not tolerate profanity, violence, and general disregard for morals (these are hit men, after all) should not view. If you do not fall into that category, and like a bit of ultra-violence brimming with wit and style, there is a very good chance you will like this movie, and almost NO chance that you will regret seeing it.

Or like I said, it might have just been a fluke in my tastes...

I remember first seeing the previews for The Big Hit and thinking to myself, "this is going to be one terrible film." Then I actually rented it, and found myself enjoying the movie immensely. Oh, it's one silly action film, but it's fun usually for all the right reasons, so that's why I'm recommending it. And this says a lot, believe me, because I find 3/4's of the movie's cast utterly revolting (Antonio Sabato, Jr., Christina Applegate, Bokeem Woodbine, Lela Rochon, and Elliot Gould all in the same movie, and I still somehow enjoyed it).

Mark Wahlberg stars as Melvin Smiley, a hitman with a heart of gold, sort of. Outside of his dubious career, he's a relatively nice guy with an airhead fiancee (Applegate). Anyway, his hitman buddies, specifically Cisco (Lou Diamond Phillips), devise a plan to kidnap Keiko Nishi (China Chow), the daughter of a super-rich Japanese businessman, not knowing the man has just went bankrupt (shown in a hilarious scene). Anyway, they have to store Keiko at Melvin's house, and he's forgotten that his fiancee and her parents are visiting for the weekend. To make matters worse, Keiko is the goddaughter of the hitmen's boss, Paris (Avery Brooks), who's looking to crack down on the guys who kidnapped her.

The Big Hit desires to work as an action and comedy, and succeeds quite well at both. The shootouts are pure Hong Kong-style (no surprise, it's directed by Kirk Wong), outrageous but cool to watch. The fight scenes are kinetic and well-choreographed, with the performers displaying some nice, agile moves without really going into all-out martial arts (by this, I'm referring to the final fight in the video store). None of the action is superspectacular or completely memorable, but it's all exciting and lots of fun, which is what it should be.

Director Kirk Wong also shows a capbable hand at humor. For once, the majority of the film's jokes actually work. Even a long-running gag involving Melvin and his overdue rental of King Kong Lives pays off in the end. A lot of people are going to find this humor stupid, but for me, it was stupid and funny. Some of these jokes probably wouldn't naturally be funny, but the cast (particularly Lou Diamond Phillips) pulls them off with a great sense of comic timing. Hell, I even laughed during that obvious "tracebuster" joke.

As I said before, most of the cast members are those I generally try to avoid when I watch movies and they're terrible here, but they're offset by the film's leads, thankfully. Mark Wahlberg is not a great actor by any stretch of the imagination, but he's likeable and perfect for this part. The lovely China Chow is a spirited foil for Wahlberg, she's smart, funny, and sassy, and also the film's most genuinely likeable character. Naturally, the film progresses by developing some romantic chemistry between her and Wahlberg, and to my surprise, those scenes actually work.

Stealing virtually the whole film is Lou Diamond Phillips (who I've always liked), who's hilarious as the two-timing hitman Cisco. Off the top of my head, I believe this is his only comic performance to date, and he's so good at it, I wish he'd delve into the genre more often. The always solid Avery Brooks has a few throwaway scenes, but it's always nice to see him in a role outside of Deep Space Nine. All in all, The Big Hit was a good time, never truly excellent as an action/comedy (it needs more even plotting and less superfluous characters) but just enjoyable enough, and that was good enough for me.

Buy The Big Hit (1998) Now

I wasn't going to add a review to this site, but after seeing all the negative reviews I had to. This is one of my favourite films, because it's enjoyable. Sure, there are funnier movies, movies with more action, better acting, a better plot and all the other things that people like. But this film is good at what it does, and that is bringing everything together. Rather than being the best film at one of these categories, it is good at all of them. And it's FUN!! Lou Diamond Phillips kicks arse in this movie... and there are some killer lines in there too ("Bust some caps?!? Give this man a gold star!!"). The soundtrack works well, the camera work is top notch, and all around this is very well produced. It seems there are a lot of people out there that think a film can only be good if it has a message, or Harrison Ford. Well here's an ideaget out there and make a movie yourself... let's see what kind of message you can offer the world. In the meantime, respect this film for what it isextreme entertainment. And for that guy who said that all the people that hate this film are from Australia, I'm an Aussie.

Read Best Reviews of The Big Hit (1998) Here

I love this movie! Its definitely one of my favorites, and I have the tendency to watch it twice in a row! Mark Wahlberg is such a hot, sweet lil badboy and with that innocent soft voice and smile he always gives me the tingles. Love the action scenes and the sense of humor is so cheesy its just hilarious. The romantic scenes with Mark and his many girls keep me coming back for more and more. For the girls, there is a great locker room scene with the guys' naked butts---yummy!

Want The Big Hit (1998) Discount?

This is again one of those movies you must not take too seriously. If you do, you will be spending that 100 or so minutes sitting and wondering why are you watching this...

Plot in a sentence: four contract killers go moonlightning and accidentally kidnap their boss' god-daughter and mayhem follows...

Don't miss this gem! There are so many in-movie jokes, parodical remarks, sexy booty and great-off-the-wall action you have to see it twice to catch them all...

Favourite line: "You can't handle the truth!" (not a mistake!)

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