Late at night, a tired private investigator names Ned Cruz (Antonio Banderas) stumbles into his office to be surprised by the appearance of a recently-paroled Russian boxer named Anton Protopov (Robert Maillet) who wants him to track down his pen-pal girlfriend Lexie Persimmon (Sienna Guillory), whom he has never met. Detective Cruz cautiously takes the case, partly because of his curiosity and also because of the money. As he sets out to find Lexie, Cruz’s investigation takes him to some of the seediest parts of Los Angeles and beyond.
He has a conversation with action star Adam Nova (James Van Der Beek), who is keeping tiny secrets of his own. Up next is porn movie producer Puss (Snoop Dogg) who has too much interest in getting to know all of his “performers.” Then, as the search takes him to New Mexico, he befriends a quirky waitress named Fay (Autumn Reeser) who helps lead him to the reclusive billionaire Simon Kestral (Sam Elliott), who is obsessed with recreating the “Big Bang” to find the “GOD particle” using physics and dangerous experiments. Did I mention that all of this is being told to you by Cruz as he is being held in a police station by three cops who are up to no good? The question the movie asks of you is: Does Lexie really exist, and if so, how does she fit into the grand scheme of things?
First-time director Tony Krantz has set out to make a neo noir suspense thriller in “The Big Bang,” using sterile rooms that give way to ultra violet skies. His eye for the bizarre and his unique way of showing specific events do help the film, but in the end, the lax dialogue, bad acting and typical story twists hinder him in making a successful film. Being somewhat of a unique film that really has no one particular genre to fit into, there will be those who enjoy the odd feeling that this movie exudes, but this is not a film for mainstream audiences. In fact, many artsy film lovers won’t find it very appealing either.
Antonio Banderas is, as usual, fun to watch on-screen; his character is bold, and has a unique dry-humor throughout the film that I did enjoy. Where the movie starts to fail is the interaction with the other actors, some of who have sub-par acting skills that bring the entire movies credibility down. I will give credit to Autumn Reeser, who played her part of the waitress with quite a large understanding of quantum physics. Her interest in Cruz and his mission did give some spice to those scenes, but wasn’t enough to save the movie.
I’m not exactly sure why someone as accomplished as Sam Elliot would agree to be in this movie, then again his judgment has failed him before (“Ghost Rider”). He plays a majorly eccentric and insane character who gets too many big ideas for his own good, but the dialogue and the way he speaks made me feel like I was watching a movie in another language — so it was hard to enjoy his scenes. The three cops who I spoke of earlier are seen on and off through the film but they don’t play a big part until the end. The three cops are played by Thomas Kretschmann, William Fichtner and Delroy Lindo. They play pretty typical shady cops, but it was Lindo who gave the most in his performance, showing conflicted feelings that contradict his actions. The other two could have been pulled from any other bad cop movie in history.
In the end, the abstract story and jumbled editing, mixed with some of the corniest lines ever spoke on camera, made this a movie that was actually hard for me to finish. There were a few subplots I didn’t mention, but if you actually see this movie it can be something that you discover while watching it. This movie is bound to be on DVD faster than most independent films, so there is no need to even try to see it in theaters.
Now playing in limited release, “The Big Bang” also stars Bill Duke, Rebecca Mader, Keith MacGeagh and Jimmi Simpson. The film is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, violence and language
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