Hollywood used to import movie stars from overseas. Then directors. Then they remade foreign films. Now the studios import entire genres. It's cheaper buying wholesale. “The Big Hit” is a Hong Kong action comedy, directed by Che-Kirk Wong (“Crime Story”), starring an American cast and written by Ben Ramsey, an American who has apparently done as much time in the video stores as Quentin Tarantino.
The movie has the Hong Kong spirit right down to the deadpan dialogue. Sample: Hit Man: “If you stay with me you have to understand I'm a contract killer. I murder people for a living. Mostly bad people, but ... “ Girl He Has Kidnapped: “I'm cool with that.” The characters in these movies exist in a Twilight Zone where thousands of rounds of ammunition are fired, but no one ever gets shot unless the plot requires him to. The bullets have read the screenplay.
As the film opens, we meet four buddies working out in a health club. They're played by Mark Wahlberg (of “Boogie Nights”), Lou Diamond Phillips, Bokeem Woodbine and Antonio Sabato Jr. The guys are hunks with big muscles, which we can study during a locker room scene where they stand around bare-bottomed while discussing Woodbine's recent discovery of masturbation, which he recommends as superior to intercourse, perhaps because it requires only one consenting adult.
Then they dress for work. They're all garbed as utility workers, with hard hats, toolboxes and wide leather belts holding wrenches and flashlights. As they saunter down the street to Graeme Revell's pumping soundtrack, they look like a downsized road company version of the Village People.