Mark Wahlberg plays Melvin Smiley,who works as a professional hitman along with his friend Cisco
(Lou Diamond Philips). On the job, he can shoot mercilessly, lob grenades like apples and blow up things like the Terminator. In fact, he is the only one in his gang of multi-cultural htimen who actually knows what he is doing. But off the job, Mel is also the nicest guy ever, possessing a neurotic desire to please everyone. The result of this is that everyone takes advantage of him, especially his spoiled fiancée Pam (Christine Applegate) and his money-grabbing mistress, Chantel(Lela Rouchon). Between them, poor Mel is spread so thin his life is one long indigestion episode.
Bled dry by the women in his life, Mel is forced to take on an outside job with Cisco as head honco to make ends meet which is strictly prohibited by his boss, Paris(Avery Brooks).
The moonlighting gig sounds pretty simple: kidnap a tycoon's daughter to ask for ransom. But things turn out to be much more complicated when the girl turns out to be their boss' goddaughter.
In order to save his own skin, Cisco turns the table on Mel and betrays him; setting up a Woo-style showdown between the two.
On paper, The Big Hit sounds like it has the making of a great action /comedy : a colorful cast, a familiar theme of friendship and betrayal and another Hong Kong director, Kirk Wong.
But somehow the film turns out to be less than satisfying. The main problem is The Big Hit is not quite sure where it's heading. At the start of the film, the plays like an action/comedy with a comic-book style shoot-out. But soon, the film starts getting romantic which really brings everything else to a halt and starts to bore the audiences. Thankfully, the movie did end the way it started out: with a slick chase car sequence and finally, the fight between Cisco and Mel.
The acting is pretty average but Lou Diamond Philips did steal the limelight away from the movie lead actor Mark Wahlberg, with his portrayal of the funny hitman with all the best lines, Cisco. Mark Wahlberg may be out to prove he can be an action hero in this film but he certainly forgot to act along the way as he practically sleepwalk through this film.It's shame because he did prove that he can act in Boogie Nights, and later in the Chow Yun Fat vehicle, The Corruptor. The Big Hit may only be produced by John Woo, but it has John Woo signature all over it: there's the shoot-outs and the familiar theme of friendship and betrayal. I really don't see how Kirk Wong expect to establish himself as a Hollywood director if he adopts other director's style into his films. I always appreciate original directors who create a style of their own like the under-rated Hong Kong director Ringo Lam
Finally The Big Hit did however succeed in underlining the talents of stunt coordinator, Lau Chi-ho one of the many unsung heroes in John Woo's Hong Kong film crew (the others would be of course producer Terence Chang,director of photography Peter Pau and editor/director David Wu who helmed all of the episodes in John Woo's Once A Thief series ). Lau Chi-ho worked on all of Woo's best works including The Killer and Bullet In The Head and he does just the same as he helped choreograph all of the film's most memorable action sequences including the final fight between Melvin and Cisco and the amazing car stunts. I hate to admit it but in order for Woo to at least replica his success in Hong Kong, he needs to guys as talented as David Wu,Peter Pau and Lau Chi-ho in his team. (I will try to gather some more information on guys like David Wu, Peter Pau and Lau Chi-ho and the other films they worked on before writing up on them, I think it's about time someone paid dues to these talents.)