In the What-The-Hell-Could-They-Have-Possibly-Been-Thinking Department I present to you: The Big Bang.
No, not the popular TV show with the similar name, we’re talking about the 2010 direct to DVD feature film starring Antonio Banderas as private eye Ned Cruz on the trail of hulking Anton “The Pro” Propov’s (Robert Maillet) lost girlfriend…a woman we find he never actually met but interacted with through mail she sent to him while he was in prison.
Right away the more perceptive out there will recognize the movie’s initial plot is a direct rip off of Raymond Chandler’s classic novel (and several times filmed) Farewell My Lovely, wherein private eye Phillip Marlowe helps hulking Moose Malloy try to find his lost girlfriend after he leaves prison.
Anyway, the film goes off on its own (very strange) directions from that initial point. The story is told in media res, with our hero shackled, bleeding, and blind and being interrogated by three police officers over the events that have led him to this point. We start with the conclusion of a very strange -and as far as I can see completely irrelevant- previous case involving an actor (James Van Der Beek in a cameo) and some dirty laundry he has that’s about to be aired. That segues into our hero being hired by the hulking Anton to find his girlfriend….and eventually some missing diamonds.
Much of the dialogue and settings in the film makes references to physics and scientific concepts (hence the title) and it is there we find the movie’s first big flaw: Using Antonio Banderas as the lead. Mind you, I like Antonio Banderas. I think he’s a pretty damn good actor but let’s face facts: He speaks English with a strong accent and this is a terrible hindrance in a movie where he’s called upon to spout plenty of “clever” dialogue…with scientific ideas sprinkled quite liberally into them.
Still, there is stuff to see and enjoy in the film, including one of the most bizarre (though undeniably sexy) love-making sessions committed to film. Its rare when you don’t know how to react to a scene wherein a character in the movie (played by the stunning Autumn Reeser) makes love while spouting very physics heavy dialogue involving such sexy subjects as protons and electrons.
I can only imagine how they went about filming that scene. If anything, the lovely Mrs. Reeser deserves some kind of award for playing it with a straight face!
Alas, despite being so “smart”, this film is ultimately pretty dumb. The plot devolves as it plays out and the revelations of who the “bad guys” are were simply too obvious almost from the beginning. Finally, the ultimate “reveal” of who was sending the notes to our hulking ex-con elicits unintended laughter (The filmmakers were trying to go for tragedy here…weren’t they?!).
No, I cannot recommend this film to your average movie goer.
This is such a bizarre movie experience that its hard not to recommend it to at least one group of people: Those looking to see something that’s truly waaaay off the beaten path.
You can’t get farther than The Big Bang.