BIG KAHUNA, THE
Reviewed July 22nd, 2001 by Dan Jones
“I'm saying you've already done plenty of things to regret, you just don't know what they are. It's when you discover them, when you see the folly in something you've done, and you wish that you had it do over, but you know you can't, because it's too late. So you pick that thing up, and carry it with you to remind you that life goes on, the world will spin without you, you really don't matter in the end. Then you will gain character, because honesty will reach out from inside and tattoo itself across your face.”
The Big Kahuna is one of those movies you'll love or hate. It's a simple movie, heavy in dialogue, based solely on character development. The Big Kahuna is a cerebral movie that, depending on what you look for in a movie, will leave you thinking for a couple days, or will leave you walking away wanting the last hour and a half of your life back. For me, it was the former.
The Big Kahuna revolves around three industrial lubricant salesmen, Larry, Phil, and Bob, played by Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Peter Facinelli respectively. The movie takes place before and after a convention in a Wichita Kansas hotel, in which these three salesmen try to convince a large account to invest in their line of industrial lubricants. Sounds less then interesting? Well, the overall plot only serves the purpose of advancing character development. The movie is very well acted; all the characters are highly believable in their roles. The dialogue, in my humble opinion, is brilliant. There is no violence, no nudity, no action, just dialogue; which obviously can be harsh at times since the movie was given an R rating.
The Big Kahuna contains a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track, although you probably will not notice it too much. Since the movie is strictly dialogue you'll hear most of you sound out of your center channel, although some scenes do spread the sound a bit. Overall, for this type of movie, the sound is about the best it can be. There is also closed captioning for the hearing impaired included.
The video on the DVD is presented only in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is crisp and the color is vibrant. An additional pan and scan version of the movie would have been nice for those who hate the black bars on their TV. Although, in my opinion, widescreen is the only way movies should be viewed (as almost all movies are originally shot in widescreen), so this was not a problem for me.
The one downfall of this movie is its lack of extras. Along with no extras a cheesy recommendation button is placed on the main menu. Personally...I almost found it insulting. Some commentary or short interviews with the actors would have been nice. Some other thoughts would be including the script so some of the dialogue could be looked at closer. But, alas, none of this is here.
Overall, The Big Kahuna is one of those movies that, if you like, you'll watch over and over again. It's a relatively short movie, it doesn't drag, and it doesn't overstay its welcome. This is ideal, since there is so much excellent dialogue in it, that it will definitely take a few views to absorb it all. The Big Kahuna is a simple movie, but sometimes those are the movies that can leave the viewer the most profoundly affected. If you're one of our readers that enjoy the movies that make you think, then The Big Kahuna is definitely a worthwhile addition to your DVD collection.
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