"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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The Big Kahuna

06 Apr 2002

Only last week, the JazzMaster and I were wondering: When is "The Big Kahuna" ever going to come to town? Wasn't it released ages ago? Why is "Viva Rock Vegas" still clogging local cinemas? And so when I had a chance to catch a matinee in Toronto last Friday, I jumped at the chance. The fact that it was a hot day, the theatre was air conditioned had no bearing on the matter.

So what's it about? Three guys in a motel room, talking for 90 minutes. They're salesmen at a trade show, hoping to sell their industrial lubricant to the head of some other company -- the "Big Kahuna". The pitchmen are ably placed by Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Peter Facinelli. Spacey is Spacey, which for my money is worth the price of admission alone. But I think the real treat here is DeVito who plays a strictly dramatic role as a company drone who wonders what he should do with the rest of his life. His portrayal is just the right mixture of fatigue and underlying disappointment that I think is just right. Facinelli, whom I have never seen before (so I claim), is the neophyte -- fresh out of school and free from regrets. For now.

This is definitely the movie for you if you want to be engaged in thoughts about life, God, and what your priorities should be. If you're looking for an action film where things blow up a lot, go see something else. "Mission Impossible 2" is probably playing somewhere far from where I'll be. Go see it there.

The Usual Links

The Big Kahuna (Official Site)
The Big Kahuna (IMDB)