Big Kahuna/C+,B
Universal/1999/91/ANA 1.85

       You might call The Big Kahuna just one more night in the slow decline of a salesman. These salesman call themselves marketing guys. They work for a industrial lubrication company and their job is spread enough hospitality around to ease some accounts into their company's coffers.

Spacey takes the hotel stage. ŠUniversal

     There's almost no action, or even movement, in The Big Kahuna. Virtually the entire film unfolds in the confines of a lackluster hotel suite overlooking downtown Wichita, Kansas. The energy depends on dialogue, and Kevin Spacey, playing Bill, revs up the quick quips with his usual panache, but it's an uphill battle to inject much life or even pathos into this rather numbing filming of a stage play. Danny DeVito has an uncharacteristically drab part playing veteran salesman Phil and Peter Facinelli does credible work assaying the innocence young newcomer Bob. 
    The bottom line is that The Big Kahuna has no original insights and little drama to stimulate audience interest. Director John Swanbeck works from a script by Roger Roeff, on whose play the film is based. The workman like approach to the material is much like the approach of the salesmen. Dull.
     The DVD is given the anamorphic treatment, but the transfer lacks some punch. Some scenes, though mostly in close-up, are slightly soft. The dimly lit scenes fall as flatly as the characters, failing to light up the set and the home theater. 






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