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The Big Hit (1998)

  Directed by: Kirk Wong
Written by: Ben Ramsey
Starring: Christina Applegate, China Chow, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mark Wahlberg
Links: The Big Hit on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

The Big Hit (1998) is also mentioned in mino's review of One Night at McCool's (2001) and pearly's review of The Italian Job (2003).

"Good fun!" - a review by mino

There are of course, two types of bad movie. There's the bad movie that's just plain awful, and is totally painful to watch: Torque (2004), for example, or The Real Cancun (2003), or Daredevil (2003). Then there's the good type of bad movie, the kind that's bad in a good way, somehow: a movie you can watch with your brain switched off and just be entertained by in a totally mindless way. You know the kind of thing: Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958), A Weatherwoman (1995), or, hell, even something like Starship Troopers (1997). Now, I'm not going to say that The Big Hit is in the same league as Plan 9, that's for sure. It's hardly a classic but, by gosh, it is good fun anyway.

The Big Hit is the sad tale of Melvin Smiley (the almost always entertaining Mark Wahlberg), a meek and mild-mannered hitman who spends his whole life getting hassled: by his demanding wife, his shrewish mistress, his hard-ass boss, his scamming colleague (a role Lou Diamond Phillips was born to play — words I never thought would escape my lips), and the guy at the video store who wants his overdue video back. As a result, poor Melvin wanders around in a daze, trying to please everyone and quaffing indigestion medication like it was water. When his colleage comes up with a plan to make some extra cash with an unauthorised kidnapping, Melvin, who is financially crippled, has to agree to take part.

Unfortunately for all concerned, their kidnap target, Keiko (the astoundingly cute China Chow), is rather more feisty and hard-to-handle than they expected — and substantially more well-connected. When the whole thing goes pear-shaped, it's every man for himself, and every relationship Melvin has is turned on its head.

The Big Hit is a little bit of everything: it's crime caper, it's action, it's comedy. It's a mix that is a little odd in parts, but generally works very well. If I had to name a similar movie, I'd have to say that there's more than a passing resemblance to one of my all-time favourites, Grosse Pointe Blank (1997). While The Big Hit isn't quite up to Grosse Pointe Blank's standards, it is very similar — and not just because they're both about hitmen. This movie is perhaps a little lighter on the comedy and rather heavier on the action than GPB, but they're otherwise quite alike: massively over-the-top destruction, rather black comedy, quirky love stories, and even the totally nasty ex-colleague bad-guy: Stan Lee in GPB, Lou Diamond Phillips here.

The Big Hit isn't going to work your brain muscles out any, but it's certainly a good enough ‘non-think piece’. I'm no fan of action movies, but this one serves up a big ol' helpin' o' fun, with some hilariously over-the-top fight scenes and car chases, wickedly tongue-in-cheek dialogue, and an amusing story with some genuinely great moments. Give your brain a break: watch The Big Hit.

mino gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 1 Jun 2004

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