The Big Hit, Superbit Edition, on DVD
Call it an action comedy if you like, the Big Hit is more of a silly
action move than an outright comedy.
And that's okay as long as it makes you laugh, and it does.
Mark Wahlberg is Melvin Smiley, a professional hit man with a heart of
gold, a conscience, and a stomach problem. He's making good bucks in his
chosen career, and he's good at it, but he's broke because his fiancee
(Christina Applegate) and his girlfriend (Lela Rochon) are taking him
to the cleaners.
As if that weren't bad enough, he has a videocassette (remember them?)
overdue at the local video store and the obnoxiously snarky geek there
is giving him grief over the phone.
One of his cohorts (Lou Diamond Phillips) draws him into a kidnapping
scheme that's supposed to give Melvin a much-needed share in a million
dollar ransom, but when this gang who can shoot straight but who can't
really do anything else kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy Japanese businessman
it not only turns out that the father doesn't have any money but that
he's also best friends of their own boss (Avery Brooks).
Needless to say, all hell breaks loose and Cisco (Phillips) makes Melvin
the fall guy so he can save his own worthless neck. So Cisco and some
other Big Hitmen mosey around to Melvin's home (where the kidnappee is
being held) to off him and rescue the girl as Melvin is trying to cook
a nice kosher meal for his soon-to-be (or so he thinks) inlaws (Lainie
Kazan and Elliott Gould).
In the end, Melvin gets together with, well, we won't spoil it for you
Confused? Don't worry. It's all made fairly clearlin the script, which
rockets along at a breakneck pace and even gives you a chance to go back
a couple of times when people you assume must be dead suddenly pop up
as if they were in a Saturday Movie Serial from the olden days of Hollywood.
It's really a rock 'em sock 'em bit of silliness, with lots of gunfire
and guffaws, kind of like Jackie Chan meets John Frankenheimer. Perhaps
it's because the film is a collaboration between Executive producer John
Woo and producer Wesley Snipes, with direction by Hong Kong's Cke-Kirk
Wong, who has directed Chan in the past.
The Big Hit offers plenty of action, mostly very well staged and shot,
and lots of silliness and zaniness. Pretty good performances all around,
The Superbit DVD, not surprisingly, is superb. It features a crystal
clear and gorgeously rendered anamorphic widescreen picture (16x9 TV compatible)
that makes you almost want to reach into the TV to touch it (except you
might get your hand blown off, let alone put finger marks on your screen).
Edges are sharp and colors are rich and vivid.
The audio, as usual for a Superbit DVD, is offered in both Dolby Digital
and DTS surround and it's wonderful. Since there are plenty of gunshots
and explosions and cars and the like, it makes excellent use of all the
audio channels and features dynamic and explosively rumbing bass, yet
not at the expense of the mid range and high frequencies.
In short, as one would expect from one of Columbia Tristar's Superbit
series, it's an audio/video treat. This makes this enjoyable romp of a
flick even more enjoyable.
As with the other current Superbit titles, extras are dumped in favor
of the superb audio and video quality and this is a most acceptable tradeoff.
The Big Hit, Superbit, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
91 min, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital
5.1 and DTS Surround
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate, Avery
Brooks, Bokeem Woodbine,
Produced by Warren Zide, Wesley Snipes,
Written by Ben Ramsey, Directed by Che-Kirk Wong
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