The Big Hit

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for violence, pervasive language and some sexuality.

Reviewed by: Brian Nigro

Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Action Adventure
Length: 148 min.
Year of Release: 1998
USA Release:
Featuring Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate, Avery Brooks, Bokeem Woodbine
TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures
, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

There is exactly one—count it, one—really great scene in “The Big Hit”, a sometimes-satire, sometimes-action—overall really lopsided—take on the growing “hitman-with-a-conscience” genre. After discovering they kidnapped the wrong person, some fellow hitmen pay a visit to aw-shucks Melvin (Mark Wahlberg) at a family dinner with his unsuspecting ex-fiancee Pam (Christina Applegate) and her parents Morton (Elliot Gould) and Jean (Lainie Kazan). With obviously-inebriated dad carrying on about this and that, the hitmens' guns are pointed at Melvin under the tablecloth—and, when dad trips off the tablecloth, the gunfire starts. Not exactly model Christian behavior, but extremely well-done filmmaking for the genre.

That one scene was five minutes.

The whole movie is over two hours long.

“The Big Hit” has the unfortunate commercial budget to be part of the current wave of post-Hong Kong action movies. (It was produced by John Woo, who also brought the dreadful “Replacement Killers” to Hollywood earlier this year.) It is rather annoying to watch this, with all its profanity, violence, and nudity, and ask yourself, “Gee, how much of this is commercial and how much is artistic?”

Here’s the basic premise: A moronic group of hitmen take a side job kidnapping a rich Japanese businessman’s daughter (China Chow). Unbeknownst to them, she’s also the godchild of their boss Paris (Avery Brooks)—who picks Cisco (Lou Diamond Philips) to find the kidnappers. The only problem is, HE’S one of the kidnappers, so to avoid responsiblity, he leads his cohorts to Melvin (Mark Wahlberg), who’s got major girl problems on his hand.

Aside from all the profanity and violence, a lot of Christians may take offense at the appallingly inane cultural stereotypes—specifically, all the insinuations about Japanese and Jewish people. Where do they kidnap the businessman’s daughter? Why, a prep school of course. And, audiences expecting Christina Applegate to repeat her Kelly Bundy role from TV’s “Married With Children”, for example, will find her in a Brooklyn-Bridge-Method of acting. It really doesn’t work at all.

“The Big Hit” is generally unsuitable for Christian audiences, except for fans of the genre—and even then, not very good. PARENTS: This is not a movie for kids.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
It’s not the crude sex jokes that really bother me about this movie. The producers just borrowed that from Disney’s “family” pictures. What really makes me mad about this movie is the complete glorification of violence. Not once, during all of the casual killing and jokes about disposing of bodies, is there a depiction of the consequences of this behavior.

No law enforcement agent even shows face in the movie. All of the characters get away with, and are often rewarded for, their dirty deeds. In the happy ending, our “hero” the hitman rides off into the sunset with his (3rd in the movie) girl who decides to love him for his criminal qualities.

After watching this move, I look at newspaper headlines about teens and even young children killing other children, their parents, and total strangers. WHY DO YOU GIVE US THIS WASTE, HOLLYWOOD? This movie, and the majority of the secular media HAS to be a factor in the total disrespect for life that children in the USA seem to have.

I live in a rural area where in the past month, in three separate cases, different youths under 18 have been charged with execution style murders of their best friend, parents, and a total stranger, respectively. I’m sure each youth saw someone “cool” do it first on tv or a movie.

I’m 18, and it’s obvious to even my almost-desensitized eyes that violence in movies is truly dangerous! Kids and adults, please stay away from this movie and its ilk, for the sake of your soul! (I really truly mean this)
Ben Wood, age 18
This movie was an insult to to the audiences’s intelligence because not only are you being force fed an awful plot filled with useless violence and swearing, but the acting was awful. The chicken scene, which was an insane attempt to be sexy, was laughable.
Erin, age 19
This movie proves there are aliens among us. After 15 minutes of pure garbage, my wife and daughter got up and left. Don’t allow yourself to be contaminated by this absolutely terrible movie.
Steven G. Hanson, age 49
My husband and I went with our 17 year old daughter to see The Big Hit. My face progressively grew redder in the dark theatre as my mind interpretted the constant stream of foul, filthy language and locker room topic of masturbation. We could only grit our teeth for so long and after about 25 minutes, countless dead bodies and a total lack of anything worth watching, we left and got a raincheck. What a waste of money and film… imagine having to memorize those nasty lines of dialogue! I’d rather go to the dentist than sit through that again.
Stephanie Hanson, age 40
…The movie didn’t know if it was a comedy or a drama, though I really believe it was meant to be spoof. There were the usual stereotypes, replays of old plots (right down to falling in love with your kidnapper), and violence “as you need it.” People are killed in an almost comedic manner, as if it were some everday type of thing that must be gotten out of the way—like taking out the trash or washing dishes. If you have time to waste, and violence with terrible language and no plot to speak of, go… no, skip this one anyway.
Jerome Bush, age 46