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'The Big Hit'

By Stephen Hunter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 24, 1998


The Big Hit Organized crime is the focus of "The Big Hit." (TriStar)

Che-Kirk Wong
Mark Wahlberg;
Antonio Sabato Jr.;
Lou Diamond Phillips;
Avery Brooks;
Lela Rochon;
Christina Applegate;
Bokeem Woodbine;
China Chow;
Robin Dunne
Running Time:
1 hour, 34 minutes
Under 17 restricted

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If anyone needs more evidence that the barbarians are not merely outside the gates but inside the perimeter, here it is.

Another – and the meanest-spirited one yet – in the series of Americanized Hong Kong action films, this low blow of a movie follows as a sensitive widdle contract killer (Mark Wahlberg) falls in love with his kidnap victim (China Chow), dumps his parasitic fiance and his mercenary mistress (Christina Applegate, Lela Rochon) and goes straight by blowing away various hundreds of thugs sent after him as he flees with Chow.

Directed by Che-Kirk Wong under the guidance of John Woo, the movie is cut to a rapper's beat, full of wannabe gangstas pretending to be of a darker hue, all but impossible to follow and so callous toward that thing called "life" that it becomes an ordeal. Though R-rated, its real target audience is under 18 – either in years or IQ points.

Only Chow, who is so sprightly and spunky she may be the next Parker Posey (who was the last one? you ask) and Lou Diamond Phillips, as one of Markie's marks, show any true signs of life.


© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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