The Big Hit | Chicago Reader

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Genre mixing keeps things fresh, keeps the notion of genre a convenient generalization instead of an exacting prescription. But it's one thing to blend elements traditionally associated with different types of movies and another to hedge your bets by using a little bit of everything, as in this cartoony, satirical action romance. Mark Wahlberg plays an insecure professional killer who desperately needs the approval of anyone he isn't about to kill. It's a cute premise, and the scenes in which he demonstrates or discusses this quirk are mildly interesting, if only because Wahlberg's stylized, ultrasincere performance is so charming. But dozens of movie references provide only a veneer of savvy, and jarring sound effects between scenes make the pace seem livelier than it is. The filmmakers seem to think they can also manipulate us by combining the erotic with the disgusting. And they can—it's a foolproof tactic. Che-kirk Wong directed a screenplay by Ben Ramsey (1998).

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