Today, Mark Wahlberg is a big box office draw, an Oscar nominee, the producer of half of HBO, and the co-lead in this weekend’s bicep-fest Pain & Gain. But follow me, fellow travelers, to a different time and place. The time? The ’90s. The place? The ’90s. Mark Wahlberg’s role as a sensitive American Dreamer/porn star in Boogie Nights ensured that he had a bright future beyond Calvin Klein and the Funky Bunch.
But first came the growing pains. Specifically, first came The Big Hit, a cuckoo action-romcom-martial arts-heist mash-up produced by John Woo. Wahlberg plays a hitman named Melvin Smiley who wears baggy jorts to an assassination.
Don’t believe me? Just watch the trailer for The Big Hit. There’s a joke about the Spice Girls and a joke about A Few Good Men. There are bright yellow hoodies. Lou Diamond Phillips plays a character named Cisco. The trailer samples both the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and the N-Trance version of “Stayin Alive.” There’s a Jewish stereotype played by Christina Applegate and a Japanese Schoolgirl stereotype played by China Chow; they’re both in love with Wahlberg. Captain Sisko is there. So is Antonio Sabato Jr., who arguably blinked out of existence at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000. The trailer looks a little bit like what would happen if you remade Super Fly starring Sugar Ray, and Mark McGrath insisted on doing his own stunts. In short, it is awesome:
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