*I go into mild spoilers here so if you’ve never seen this movie best look away now*
It had been several years since I’d watched The Big Hit and at the initial time of release I remember it being met with generally negative reviews; I have to be honest and admit I used to not be a fan either but over the years it has grown on me and I now love it.
It has an awesome cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Bokeem Woodbine, Antonio Sabato Jr., Christina Applegate and Lou Diamond Phillips with John Woo & Wesley Snipes producing so that’s reason enough to watch it.
The Big Hit opens with a fantastic shoot-out which feels like classic John Woo featuring double gunplay, slow motion and gravity defying acrobatics. During this sequence we are introduced to our cast who are a bunch of assassins working on a job together; we find out that our lead Melvin Smiley (Wahlberg) is constantly being scammed by his cutthroat colleagues in the life-ending business.
When he and his fellow assassins kidnap the daughter of an electronics mogul, it’s naturally Melvin who takes the fall when their prime score turns sour. That’s because the girl is the goddaughter of the gang’s ruthless crime boss. But, even while dodging bullets, Melvin has to keep his real job secret from his unsuspecting fiancée, Pam (Christina Applegate).
Wahlberg’s character Melvin is easy to take to but the rest of the characters are quite obnoxious which is obviously a deliberate move. There is a running joke throughout featuring a video store clerk who keeps calling Melvin as he is late bringing back in his VHS tape of King Kong Lives. I enjoyed the nostalgia it brought back and seeing a video store again was nice but Melvin totally should have shot him in the end.
I was reading on IMDB that In the original script from Blood & Bone’s Ben Ramsey, Melvin had more of a backstory, to explain why he was afraid of people disliking him, and why both his parents were dead. However, due to time and budgetary restrictions, this element was cut before shooting began. It’s a shame that was cut as I felt it could have used more explaining and would have made him less of a pussy.
The action sequences are slick though and that’s what makes the movie so watchable especially the finale which has plenty of real explosions and even more gunplay.
Antonio Sabato Jr. is relegated to a thankless cameo role only showing up at the beginning and end which is a shame as I liked him in The Base 2. Lou Diamond Philips is one of my favourite actors and was my reason for watching The Big Hit when it first came out and despite his character also being a dick he does at least have a satisfying bad guy death.
The movie has its flaws and I understand if you dislike it but it certainly has a place in my heart. So Sue Me! I love The Big Hit and if you don’t then I guess I’ll see your ass in court.