Movie Review: What Is Antonio Banderas Doing In Campy Catastrophe The Big Bang?

With eyes closed and jaw firmly set, concentrating hard enough to break a blood vessel, I cannot think of a

With eyes closed and jaw firmly set, concentrating hard enough to break a blood vessel, I cannot think of a movie more incomprehensible, moronic, pointless or abominable than a load of trash called The Big Bang. Torrents of blood splatter the opening credits, preparing you for what’s to come–a droning farrago of violent stupidity written by Erik Jendresen, who watched Joel Coen’s sub-mental The Big Lebowski too many times and doesn’t have a clue how to string five words together with any coherence. The so-called director is a hack named Tony Krantz, who produced the pretentious Mulholland Drive. The Big Bang looks like they made it all up, scene by ludicrous scene, as they went along.

The plot, which seems to have gone through a wood chipper, centers on a seedy Los Angeles private eye called Ned Cruz (Antonio Banderas), who is hired by a homicidal boxer called Anton the Pro–sentenced to life in prison after crushing an opponent’s skull in the ring for a Mafia payoff of 30 million dollars in diamonds–to find his girlfriend, a stripper called Lexie Persimmon. (Mickey Spillane in a coma couldn’t make this stuff up.) The search for Lexie and the diamonds (which are believed to be hidden in a ceiling fixture somewhere in the old Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel) leads to the creepy mansion of a movie star called Adam Nova (James Van Der Beek), who is hiding a deep, dark secret we never find out because he burns his albino dwarf roommate to death, tosses him from the top window, and commits suicide. Next up: the set of a douche-bag pornographic filmmaker played by Snoop Dog, who strips and joins the next XXX-rated scene, a woman who eats her own flesh and a kinky waitress in a New Mexico diner who serves lectures on quantum physics with the coffee. Nobody has seen Lexie Persimmon, but folks who get interviewed about her end up on a slab at the morgue.

Cruz finally hits the jackpot when he meets an insane zillionaire recluse (Sam  Elliott) who is digging a tunnel 300 feet beneath the desert near Los Alamos and aiming two proton beams at 99.9% of the speed of light to destroy the world. Talk about slumming. It’s sad to see Sam Elliott, who used to specialize in cowboys and Marlboro Men, reduced to a cross between Dr. No and Dr. Seuss, with bushy black Groucho Marx eyebrows, a bushy white Santa Claus moustache and bleached yellow hair down to his navel, spouting “God is the Wizard of Oz–and tomorrow I’m opening that curtain!” Meanwhile, the woman in Anton the Pro’s 8×10 glossy signed “Lexie” is the rich lunatic’s wife, while the real Lexie Persimmon is his partner in crime, a cross-dressing physicist. Oh, I forgot to mention the three sadistic cops who beat and torture Cruz to get the diamonds themselves. But enough already. It’s 101 minutes long, but none of this campy gibberish makes even 101 seconds of sense. If you’re still sitting in your seat at the end, wondering where the diamonds are, then you win the Masochist of the Year award. I’ve liked Antonio Banderas elsewhere, but in this chemically-induced tedium, he seems mentally compromised beyond his ability.  Has he been taking acting lessons from his wife, Melanie Griffith? 

There’s no trace of a director, and although the scriptwriter once wrote Band of Brothers, his dialogue goes like this: “Wherever she is, I’m sure she’s in bed dreaming of bungee jumping off your forehead!” The whole thing looks like it was filmed in a psycho ward. You go away wondering out loud (with merit) how and where they find the money to make any movie as brain-damaged, inept, unsupervised and moronic as The Big Bang.

Running time 101 minutes
Written by Erik Jendresen
Directed by Tony Krantz
Starring Antonio Banderas, James Van Der Beek, Sam Elliot 


Movie Review: What Is Antonio Banderas Doing In Campy Catastrophe The Big Bang?