On the last evening of a convention two seen-it-all industrial lubricant salesmen and a youngster from the research department gather in the hotel's hospitality suite to host a delegates party. The main aim is to get the business of one particular big fish. When it becomes apparent that it is the lad who has developed a direct line to the guy, his strong religious beliefs bring him into sharp conflict with his older and more cynical colleagues. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'The Big Kahuna' is actually just a big conversation, a three-way encounter between a trio of industry representatives hoping to entice an important client. And the combination of a lively script and a heavyweight cast delivers the goods, Danny de Vito is strong and (in the most interesting role) Kevin Spacey is excellent; Peter Facinelli is OK, but his part offers less scope to the actor. But for all the quality, it's a bit hard to see the focal point of the drama is supposed to be about. Spacey plays a pushy, egotistical salesman whose frustration with the self-righteous Facinelli suddenly boils over; the extension from the everyday to the existential is well-handled but never opens the heart of the character to us, de Vito vouches for him but it's not quite enough. The use of Baz Luhrman's feel-good but platitudinous 'Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen' over the closing credits feels like a glib opt out of forcing the drama to stand on its own feet. An interesting film nonetheless.
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