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The Big Hit (1998)

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Hitman Melvin Surley, an expert at his lucrative job, goes on a job and falls in love with his kidnapping victim, turning his world upside down.


(as Che-Kirk Wong)




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Shulman
Morton Shulman
Jiro Nishi
Video Store Kid
David Usher ...


To payoff his second girlfriend's debt, hitman Melvin Smiley undertakes a kidnapping job with his usual associates. In a world of prospective Jewish in-laws and late movie fees, the hitman falls in love with the victim and must settle the score with those out to double-cross him. Written by UptownRox

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nothing's more dangerous than some nice guys... with a little time to kill. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, pervasive language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Equipa Mortal  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,809,424 (USA) (24 April 1998)


$27,052,167 (USA) (24 July 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


China Chow who plays Keiko Nishi, despite claiming to have not cooked before (in the kitchen scene) is in real life the daughter of famous restaurateur, Michael Chow. See more »


After Melvin's Yellow Firebird hits his girlfriend's Jaguar, you can see heavy damage to the left front of the car. The damage disappears in subsequent scenes. See more »


Melvin Smiley: Technically, you can call me a hitman.
Keiko Nishi: Really? A hitman? Does that pay well?
Melvin Smiley: Oh of course. I make a killing.
See more »


References Dreams Come True (1984) See more »


Gots Like Come on Thru
Written by Buddha Monk (as Ellery Chambers), Bob James, Marcus Logan & Dragon
Performed by Buddha Monk
Courtesy of Edel America Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Feasting On a Diet of Scenery and Ham
11 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Big Hit is a nice fast paced black comedy where a whole lot of actors get to chew the scenery without getting in the way of each other's diets. Everyone looks like they're having a great old time in making this film.

A team of four hit men who we first meet doing a job for boss Avery Brooks decide to do a little weekend moonlighting into kidnapping. They kidnap China Chow the daughter of Sab Shimono a Japanese industrialist who they don't know is going bankrupt. He couldn't come up with the payments on his own.

What they don't know also is that she's the goddaughter of Brooks who is determined to find the kidnappers and eliminate them. Like Nixon's staff when Watergate got going, they all start bailing.

The quartet's head, Lou Diamond Phillips does more than that. He turns on the others and names as the scheme's mastermind Mark Wahlberg. In the whole cast Phillips is absolutely relishing every minute of his role. He's stealing the film whenever he's on screen.

Poor Wahlberg, he's the schnook of the bunch who apparently has only one talent in life, he can kill people with efficiency. Away from the trade everybody just intimidates him. He's got two girlfriends, one a Black American Princess, Lela Rochon who's bleeding him dry and a Jewish American Princess, Christina Applegate who's engaged to him, sort of. Even the obnoxious clerk at the video store is getting on his case.

While Phillips is turning on the group, Wahlberg is having a meeting with Applegate and her parents, Lainie Kazan and Elliott Gould. Next to LDP, Kazan and Gould are the best thing in the film also playing their ethnic stereotypes with relish and ketchup on the side.

Believe it or not, it all works out in one crazy way for poor Wahlberg, but you'll have to see and enjoy The Big Hit to find out how.

The Big Hit assembles a cast of familiar players who all look like they're having a great old time, burlesquing their own images and feasting on a diet of scenery and ham. Cut yourself in for a slice.

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