The Money Train/The Big Hit [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Big Hit
Kirk Wong directed this comedy actioner about mild-mannered, beleaguered hitman Melvin Smiley (Mark Wahlberg), who very much wants to be liked. However, the naive Mel is being taken advantage of by both his girlfriends and associates (who cheat him out of his bonuses). Mel and his "Odd Squad" -- Cisco (Lou Diamond Phillips), Crunch (Bokeem Woodbine), Vince (Antonio Sabato Jr.), and Gump (Robin Dunne) -- work for Paris (Avery Brooks), head of an international crime cartel and a contractor for hit jobs. Mel's mistress Chantel (Lela Rochon), who views him as a meal ticket, lives rent-free in his house, misspends his money, and is continually thinking of ways to get more from him. Her latest scheme is concocting tales about overdue mortgage and car payments, but she really wants the money to run away with her lover Sergio. Mel and his team head into a big shootout to waste some rival mobsters. One person kills the electricity; the others don night-vision goggles. Melvin handles most of the action, including shooting while bungee-bouncing near a staircase, finally making a spectacular bungee-exit from the top floors of the building just as it explodes in flames. A quick and easy weekend job backfires when their kidnap victim, a rich industrialist's teenage daughter Keiko Nishi (China Chow), turns out to be the godchild of their boss, crime czar Paris. When Cisco, mastermind of the plan, is summoned by Paris, he manages to shift blame to Mel. Meanwhile, Chantel absconds with Mel's earnings just as the disapproving parents (Elliott Gould, Lainie Kazan) of Mel's fiancee Pam (Christina Applegate) are due for a visit. Since Pam gave her parents $50,000 from Mel's bank account, they're on their way to thank him and hopefully benefit from another financial windfall. As his professional and domestic woes collide, Mel finds himself dodging bullets while trying to impress his potential in-laws. Throw in an overzealous video-store clerk demanding the return of an overdue tape (King Kong Returns), and it's not long before Mel's life starts to unravel. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Money Train
A pair of New York City cops collaborate on a plan to rob a cash-packed subway train in this action-comedy. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) and John (Wesley Snipes) are not just co-workers and close friends but also foster brothers. Because of this family connection, the reluctant John becomes involved in the more capricious Charlie's far-fetched scheme to rob the "money train" that collects the subway's daily grosses. Charlie needs the money for gambling debts, and robbing the train would have the added benefit of angering Charlie's and John's harsh, corrupt boss Captain Patterson (Robert Blake). Romantic interest is provided by a fellow police officer (Jennifer Lopez) who sparks rivalry between the brothers, but the film's main interest is in the violent events that surround the attempted heist, which naturally proves more complicated than planned. The film attempts to capitalize on the chemistry between Snipes and Harrelson, who had previously had a hit comedy with White Men Can't Jump (1992), but Joseph Ruben's unexceptional direction and a bland screenplay by Doug Richardson and David Loughery make the film less distinctive than its predecessor. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Mark Wahlberg
    Mark Wahlberg - Melvin Smiley
  • Lou Diamond Phillips
    Lou Diamond Phillips - Cisco
  • Christina Applegate
    Christina Applegate - Pam Shulman
  • Avery Brooks
    Avery Brooks - Paris
  • Bokeem Woodbine
    Bokeem Woodbine - Crunch
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