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BIG HIT, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Melvin Smiley (Mark Wahlberg) is a hit man with a complicated personal life: he is engaged to be married to a ditzy Jewish blond (Christina Applegate) and has a black girlfriend (Lela Rochon) on the side. Their financial demands have put him in debt, so he joins his buddies, Cisco (Lou Diamond Phillips), Crunch (Bokeem Woodbine), Gump (Robert Dunne), and Vinnie (Antonio Sabato Jr.), in a kidnapping scheme, snatching Keiko (China Chow), the pretty college-age daughter of a bankrupt Japanese businessman (Sab Shimono). Unfortunately, she also happens to be the goddaughter of crime lord Paris (Avery Brooks), Cisco and Melvin's boss. To save himself, Cisco turns against the rest of the gang, going after them one-by-one. Meanwhile, Keiko and the sensitive Melvin fall in love and plan to run away together.

"Funky and cool, this is an entertaining black comedy with a hip script, off the wall characters, loads of wild stunts amidst flashy action to boot. Che-Kirk Wong shows his flair with this, his US feature debut that pulsates with pace and rocks with a toe-tapping, up tempo soundtrack. These hit men are really laid back, and Mark Wahlberg shows that hes more than a one-big-hit wonder (the well endowed Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights), with a most appealing comic performance as the hit-man with a dual personality. Yes, hes super fit, doesnt blink an eye before eliminating his targets, yet hes super sensitive and kind, cant bear it if hes not liked, and funnily enough, is a really good guy. Wahlberg is superbly contrasted by Lou Diamond Phillips who has a great time snarling, gnashing his metal-studded teeth, and is delightfully over-the-top as his competitive associate. Christina Applegate is fun as the fiancee whos trouble, while inspired casting brings Elliott Gould and Lainie Kazan to the screen as the potential in-laws from hell. All the characters are contradictions in themselves, and form the basis for a trip which is far from dull. The comedy is fast and furious, breaking into farcical proportions at times."
Louise Keller

"It must have sounded like a clever idea: the seemingly ruthless hit man come Sensitive New Age Guy who just wants to be liked. So where do we go from here? Good question. The Big Hit is a big mess, trying too hard to be so many things and never succeeding at any. The film is an attempt at cashing in on the success of the likes of John Woo (who's co-executive producer of this), but the script is silly and the plot convoluted and absurd. It's a comedy, a chase movie, a pointless action flick all rolled into a derivative clunker that is ultimately repetitive and tedious. Wahlberg is mildly amusing as the quietly spoken hit man, while on the other end of the acting spectrum, Lou Diamond Phillips is over the top and intensely aggravating as another hit man faced with a major dilemma. Then for some reason, Elliott Gould turns up as an alcoholic father as if he's sleeping through the role. The action sequences are slick enough, but there's nothing we haven't seen before, except there's more of it, plus a badly executed and idiotic car chase to cap it all off, not to mention a dull and pointless soundtrack. What could have been a clever little comedy, is nothing more than a messy hybrid of genres that never seem to gel."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0
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BIG HIT, THE (MA)
(US)

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate, Avery Brooks, Bokeem Woodbine, China Chow, Antonio Sabato Jr, Lainie Kazan, Elliott Gould, Sab Shimono, Robin Dunne, Lela Rochon, Danny Smith, Joshua Peace, David usher

DIRECTOR: Che-Kirk Wong

PRODUCER: Warren Zide, Wesley Snipes

SCRIPT: Ben Ramsey

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Pietro Scalia

EDITOR: Robin Russell, Pietro Scalia

MUSIC: Graeme Revell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Taavo Soodor

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 2, 1998

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar

VIDEO RELEASE: October 11, 1999

RRP: $24.95







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