Written by: Ben Ramsey
Directed by: Che-Kirk Wong
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Avery Brooks, Christina Applegate, Bokeem Woodbine
My Advice: Wait and rent it.
In a word: “John Woo’s Grosse Pointe Blank.” Too simplistic? Perhaps, but this is actually a very enjoyable film for the reason that it doesn’t take itself very seriously, even when the bullets are flying. Wahlberg is a hard-working hitman who is deadlier than E. coli on the job but goes home to Maalox moments with his fiancee (Applegate) and lady-on-the-side (Lela Rochon). Wahlberg plays both sides of his character, Marvin, very well: the killer and the whipped homebody. He wants everyone to like him, for pity’s sake, and you end up liking him despite the fact he’s a major weanie.
The film is essentially an action/comedy, but it also tries for a touch of romance, and it’s this touch that grinds the film’s pacing to a halt while Wahlberg tries to work out his feelings for his lovely (and barely legal-looking) captive, played by newcomer China Chow. Those scenes seem heavy-handed and a darkly twisted moment involving chicken sensuality tries for a laugh (at least I hope that’s what it was doing) and fails. An amusing watch, I’ve designated it as a rental simply because despite some gunplay and effects sequences, it won’t lose anything on the small screen.