THE BIG BANG, 2011
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Thomas Kretschmann, William Fichtner, Sienna Guillory, Delroy Lindo, James Van Der Beek, Robert Maillet
A private detective is hired to find a missing stripper. A simple job turns complicated when everyone he questions ends up dead.
Antonio Banderas is 51 in “The Big Bang” and he looks pretty much the same as the Antonio Banderas from “Deperado.” Good for him. Unfortunately, he used his genetic gift to star in “The Big Bang.”
“The Big Bang” is a neo-noir about a private detective whom is hired to track down a missing woman. Ned (Antonio Baneras) is the steely private-eye hired by the heavy weight boxer and recently paroled Anton (Robert Maillet). Apparently, Anton has been receiving love letters from a stripper named Lexi Persimmon. They have never met but they consistently pen paled while Anton was in prison. He’s eventually released, Lexi goes missing, and subsequently the 30 million in diamonds that Anton was paid for throwing a fight does too. Lexi was keeping them safe because Anton botched the fight and now the mob wants their diamonds back.
Did you get all that? That’s not even 1/8th of whatever the hell’s going on in this movie. It somehow also ties in with dirty cops, the hadron collider, a wacky tattooed lady, Hollywood, a cross dressing physicist, a grizzled billionaire scientist, the god particle, and the beginning of time, space, and matter. There is so much information you need to know from expository dialog, that you might need a pen and some paper. I had to watch scenes twice to have an idea of whom some people were. Twists happen before you digested what you just saw. Ned has to be the steely private-eye, so he doesn’t really ever question what’s going on around him.
A twist in a movie is much like a fight scene in a movie. Fights and twists need stakes and consequences. Too many fights, then the idea of a fight loses its impact. A fight is a massive act of emotion and expression. They can be cathartic or condemning and their reason for being can be as primal as love or hate. Plus, they’re fun to watch. Overuse of a fight scene and/or having little motive for existing dilutes their reason for being. Same with twists. A movie saturated with twists will only weaken its punch. “The Big Bang” is guilty of an excessive amount of weak twists. So much so, that the twist at the end should be so substantial that the viewer should then kill themselves because it was so well thought out that it drove them insane. That’s how overly used it is.
For how convoluted and uninteresting the script is, the movie is almost well made. Emphasis on the “almost.” The performances are fun, the perspectives are easy on the eyes, and the lighting is other worldly. Purple dominates most of the colors in this film and the movie is fully aware of it. This is also a shockingly seductive movie. I wasn’t prepared for that, but it gets fairly erotic. If you’re a fan of physics there’s a scene in here that might be better than porn.
Anyway, Ned eventually unravels the mystery and there’s an explosion that’s followed by him getting the girl (girls). It’s the ending you suspected but movies sometimes are not about the what, but the how. I will say this though, this was not a waste of time.
This movie tried something different and that’s a commendable thing. Much more commendable than playing it safe and using paint-by-numbers storytelling. It had interesting ideas in the script as well in its execution. That’s why “The Big Bang” will always be above “The Green Lantern,” “The Zookeeper,” or “Abduction.” Good for you “The Big Bang.” I hope your creative team gets a chance to make another and you hit your mark, because this wasn’t it.
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