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Review The Big Hit (1998): Who was this made for?

genre: action, comedy








There was a time I consumed these films like crazy. The first time I watched it I actually liked it. However the viewing experience diminished after multiple viewings. Now after many years I returned to see how it holds up. 

While it's far better than I remember it's pretty problematic. There is plenty of action. But is it the kind that is exciting and thrilling? Not really. You aren't supposed to since most of the film is to be viewed as a slapstick / screwball comedy where the lead Melvin Smiley played by Mark Wahlberg is getting in all kinds of trouble. Right from the start we learn that Melvin is kind of a gullible loser yet is incredibly competent in assassinating people. Now I know it is asked of us to go with this but sorry it's stupid. Somebody this gullible obviously lacks the intelligence to be that skilled. Unless people really think it's enough to be athletic and a good shot to get away with murder. I can assure you that is not the case. Sure for the sake of the film I was willing to accept this fact. But then it's also asked of you to root for him. And that is real hard to do since Melvin Smiley is a very frustrating character to root for. He is delusional and psychotic. He is not the least bit charming. I doubt women would fall for a loser like him yet it's quite simple for him to hook up with pretty and sexy women like Christina Applegate and Lela Rochon. Although it becomes clear they have him whipped because he always wants to please them.

There is one running gag that had me laughing real loud. Louis Diamond Phillips was a fun character. But is that enough for me? Younger me perhaps. Mature me wants more. I actually wanted to see if there was a reason why I couldn't remember the action sequences that clearly. And I did remember most of them but to be honest none of the scenes are that memorable. If you have never seen this film then perhaps you could appreciate it for what it is. If you are like me returning to this film to see if this still holds up then I have to say it doesn't. It lacks punch and wit. On top of everything I have no clue who this film is intended for. Action fans won't get their fix and comedy lovers will be disappointed. Perhaps rom com lovers could appreciate it? 

To be really honest. I knew that John Woo was attached as an executive producer and that this flick was directed by Kirk Wong which was one of the reasons why I had given myself the task to see if I had missed something brilliant. Unfortunately the only thing I can conclude is that The Big Hit is not really worth your time even for Marky Mark fans.




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