Socially anxious hitman Melvin Smiley, an expert in his lucrative field, goes on a job and falls in love with his kidnapping victim, turning his world upside down.


Kirk Wong (as Che-Kirk Wong)


Ben Ramsey
3,649 ( 1,501)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Wahlberg ... Melvin Smiley
Lou Diamond Phillips ... Cisco
Christina Applegate ... Pam Shulman
Avery Brooks ... Paris
Bokeem Woodbine ... Crunch
Antonio Sabato Jr. ... Vince
China Chow ... Keiko Nishi
Lainie Kazan ... Jeanne Shulman
Elliott Gould ... Morton Shulman
Sab Shimono ... Jiro Nishi
Robin Dunne ... Gump
Lela Rochon ... Chantel
Danny Smith ... Video Store Kid
Joshua Peace ... Lance
David Usher David Usher ... Sergio


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


Hit Happens See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The Big Hit (1998) and American History X (1998) were both released in 1998 and both feature Elliott Gould and Avery Brooks. American History X (1998) also features Beverly D'Angelo and Edward Norton as mother and son. Mark Wahlberg (Melvin) worked with Norton in The Italian Job (2003). Christina Applegate (Pam) worked with D'Angelo in Vacation (2015). See more »


Keiko's hair clip disappears while she and Melvin are cooking, and reappears in the next scene. See more »


Cisco: Well ain't that a bitch... All I wanted to do was to sail my boat, man, you know? Navigate by the stars, see dolphins race alongside, you know, maybe even kill a few of them.
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Alternate Versions

On the DVD there are 3 deleted scenes: One of which is an extended sequence where the "crew" talks about Melvin's love life, and how Crunch is going to rent porno that night. The second deleted scene is where Melvin calls Crunch and it shows Vince dressing up in drag, and the third one is where the killer Melvin crew stops at Crunch's and Vince comes in wearing a dress. See more »


References Godzilla (1998) See more »


Act on It
Written by Maurice Cenac (as M. Cenac), Scott Kluesner, Craig Miller & Son Doobie (as Jason Vasquez)
Performed by Funkdoobiest
Courtesy of Buzztone/The RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

Good and Silly
1 January 2000 | by DBCooper_See all my reviews

Nobody will ever mistake this film for Shakespeare, but it's got something. True, the car scene is ridiculous (although any car enthusiast will tell you that the yellow car Melvin drives is a Trans Am, not a Camaro), but the timing of the film is-- well, pure Grosse Pointe Blank. Where GPB works subtly and gives us an amoral antihero trying to pretend to be good, The Big Hit gives us Melvin Smiley, a basically good guy who tries, and occasionally succeeds, to be bad.

Running gags like the kidnapping victim who keeps getting away, the turncoat "friend" who just won't die (played with wonderful reptilian zeal by Lou Diamond Phillips), and Elliot Gould's "prune juice," the nasty video store clerk (reminiscent of the "two dollars" kid from "Better Off Dead," and Bokeem Woodbine's love affair with his hand, keep the whole thing fun.

This movie will never win an Oscar. Y'know what? Man cannot live on Oscar-winners alone.

And it beats the heck outta Batman and Robin.

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Release Date:

24 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Hit See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,809,424, 26 April 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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