Plot: What’s it about?
Who Do That Voodoo That Woo Do So Well? John Woo that is, as Executive Producer on the big hit The Big Hit. Melvin Smiley (Mark Wahlberg) is a professional hit man who works with a stylish…and a bit narcissistic…crew who don’t mind at all taking credit for Smiley’s risks and results. Melvin has one trait that a hit man doesn’t need; he’s honest to a fault. In debt and burning the candle at both ends, Melvin is forced to do a little “moonlighting” with his crew to make ends meet. Desperate to hide his (real) work from his fiancΘe (Christina Applegate) and keep the wisecracking and spunky kidnap victim (China Chow…in her first and hopefully not last role) hidden, Melvin’s escapades are a combination of the comic antics of I Love Lucy to the death defying narrow escapes of Indiana Jones in Smiley’s last crusade…or is it? Oh yea, it’s bad enough when your rental tape is late…really late…but forgetting to rewind, I hate it when that happens.
Another winner for Mark Wahlberg, a shooting star in the movie bizz who’s best is yet to come. Although I must admit that Lou Diamond Phillips steals much of the show as Cisco, the double dealing member of Melvin’s crew who’s love of money is only second to his love of himself. Phillips in my opinion has been mediocre at best in most of his characters except in Courage Under Fire, where he is given a meaty role and is a welcome distraction to the whiney, scratch a chalk board voiced and set women in the military back a hundred years chopper pilot Meg Ryan. Whew!!!!…I don’t know how long I’ve been carrying that around…sorry!
With outside influences, both behind and in front of the camera making their way…thankfully…into the look of “American” films, the Hong Kong style is gaining much popularity. Both directors and audiences seem to enjoy the skillful blend of Hong Kong action theatrics and classic American shots to give us a refreshing change of scenery. Again the right choices make the difference and the combination of John Woo’s vision and Wesley Snipes production company along with Wong’s direction give us hard core action teamed with tongue-in-cheek humor which equals maximum entertainment.
Video: How does it look?
Standard..yuk…Anamorphic Widescreen..yesss!!! Excellent eye appeal on this DVD kept both of mine happy the whole time.
Audio: How does it sound?
I couldn’t wait to get to this part. I have to admit that I almost reduced the db’s on my .1 of the 5.1 into the dreaded negative numbers…I said almost. Not for the faint of heart…yes I know that a good or great movie is more than a “mondo” low frequency signal…but the incredible soundtrack from stem to stern is an important character on its own in this release. The saving grace is the dialogue is never overpowered by the bass…how’d they do that?
Supplements: What are the extras?
I was a little let down because the Cast/Director bios I enjoy so much are not to be found. There are some deleted scenes, check out “I want my money” it’s a riot…Antonio has a side I never knew…you go girl. There are some interesting commentaries, full length of course. I know these aren’t for everybody but to a dyed in the wool movie nut (like myself) and those interested in more than the obvious, they provide many answers for those with enquiring minds.