Late one night, Los Angeles private investigator, Ned Cruz (Banderas) gets a visit from a recently paroled Russian boxer with an intriguing job offer: find Lexie, his missing girlfriend—and the 30-million dollar stash of diamonds she’s hiding. As Detective Cruz sets out to find her, the clues send him into the city’s seediest corners, from a Hollywood action star with a dirty little secret (James Van Der Beek, “Dawson’s Creek,” Varsity Blues), to an enterprising porn producer who takes a personal interest in his own work (Snoop Dogg, Old School, Starsky & Hutch), and a kinky waitress with an unusual fetish for particle physics (Autumn Reeser,“No Ordinary Family,” “Entourage”). Lexie proves to be as elusive as she is beautiful and Cruz becomes obsessed with finding her.
With time running out, Cruz discovers the trail leads to reclusive billionaire (Sam Elliott, Thank You for Smoking, Tombstone), and his physicist (Jimmi Simpson, Date Night, “Breakout Kings”), intent on recreating The Big Bang underneath the New Mexico desert. Tailed by a trio of cops also looking to find the missing diamonds, and with the body count piling up, Cruz soon realizes that what appeared to be a standard missing person’s case is anything but, and could quite possibly bring about the end of the world as we know it.
'The Big Bang' is a bizarre, outlandish failure of a film, but it fails so spectacularly, like an imploding supernova, that it's hard not to watch. This movie has everything, from its faux-Lynchian feel to a naked chick who's more than just a little obsessed with physics. So obsessed in fact that she's got atoms and neutrons tattooed all over her body. She's like a sexy science textbook. I think I would've been more interested in high school science if it were taught like that.
Antonio Banderas plays Ned Cruz. A private investigator who actually sits in a stereotypical PI office as his voiceover explains what's happening. Banderas has been told to play it as gruff as possible, so his raspy dialogue is almost unintelligible. Imagine if Puss 'n Boots spent the entirety of 'Shrek 2' with a hairball in his throat that he just couldn't dislodge. That's what it's like listening to Banderas in this role.
Cruz has been taken in for questioning by three detectives; Frizer (Thomas Kretschmann), Poley (William Fichtner), and Skeres (Delroy Lindo). It soon becomes evident that these cops aren't playing by the rules. Poley sulks in the corner because the other two cops won't let him beat up on Cruz to get the answers they're looking for. Oh, and at this moment, Cruz is also blind.
Cruz recounts the events to the cops that led up to his temporary blindess. It has something to do with a giant of a man who was just released from prison, a beautiful young woman who has been writing him, her disappearance, a super collider run by Sam Elliot, and a bunch of diamonds. How everything fits together is still a little hazy. Plots and subplots run into each other like atoms flying around a collider. It's pure insanity for much of the film.
'The Big Bang' tries to play it all dark and serious, and maybe that's its mistake. It thinks with all its scientific techno-babble and hypnotizing that we'll all sit back in awe taking in everything they're saying, when in reality most of the movie's incessant scientific blubbering becomes cumbersome and adds nothing to the film except additional runtime.
There's really no easy way to describe the movie. It's a straight-to-home-video mess. It wants so bad to be an edgy modern day noir flick, but nothing comes out right. All the gruff scientific talk comes off as cheesy and hammed up. I'm convinced that Banderas is one of the worst actors out there when he's trying to play a role completely straight and serious. If he's slyly poking fun at himself, and the movie he's in has a fun atmosphere about it, then he's a decent enough actor. Throw him in a serious role and you're talking about snoozeville.
'The Big Bang' labors on and on with some hilariously nonsensical plot twists. The twists become more and more ridiculous as the movie continues. Characters pop up out of the woodwork and, out of the blue, become influential pieces to the inane puzzle that the movie has set up. The climax is altogether hilarious and is sure to have you laughing too. At least Sam Elliot is good as the mad scientist who wants to discover the God Particle, but I couldn't help but think every time his character was on screen that he deserved to be in a different movie. A better movie.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'The Big Bang' comes in your standard green-friendly (with the recycle arrows punched out) Blu-ray case. Anchor Bay has given the movie a BD-50 Blu-ray Disc, which can hold the moive's contents with room to spare. The back of the case indicates that this is a Region A release only.
Anchor Bay has put out an impressive 1080p video presentation for 'The Big Bang'. Bathed in the cool darkness of a near-noir film, 'The Big Bang' lives, and dies, with its reproduction of realistic blacks.
This movie is as dark as they come, and those scenes really show you what this presentation is made of. Blacks are frequently inky, while shadows are wonderfully delineated, adding texture and depth to the picture. Fine detail is outstanding, which is nice because you can closely observe all the educational tattoos on that dear girl who's so hot for science.
Contrast may be pumped up a bit too much, producing oddly colored, bronzed, skintones but that could also be a product of the stylized look of the film. Banding is noticeable in some scenes but it never becomes a major distraction. Finally, a filmic layer of grain covers the entire picture giving us a natural looking HD presentation.
'The Big Bang' has been fitted with a TrueHD 5.1 lossless surround sound presentation that works just as well as the video presentation did.
Besides the fact that it's hard to hear anything that Banderas is saying (mostly because of his own mumbling and thick accent) the rest of the dialogue is reproduced clearly. Pans are smooth and work uninterrupted as sound effects move seamlessly through the soundstage. LFE is present throughout the movie for the musical soundtrack, but also for explosions, implosions, and cave-ins. The rumble of the LFE will give your sub a hefty workout. Rear speakers are alive with ambient sound and sound effects that travel around the soundfield.
Overall this is a nice sounding audio presentation for a DTV movie. Anchor Bay has done a nice job giving 'The Big Bang' a good sounding mix. Now if they could just get Banderas to speak up.
Most of 'The Big Bang' doesn't make a lick of sense. The other part is a silly homage to noir detective stories starring a man who can't enunciate his lines. It's just so haphazardly thrown together that it's hard to take serious. There are some unintentionally funny parts in the movie though, which actually make it worth a viewing if you can stomach its absurdity. In case you do venture into 'Big Bang' territory, know that you'll be getting strong audio and visual presentations. It could be worth a look if the premise strikes your fancy.