May 11, 1998 12:00 PM

Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate, China Chow, Lela Rochon

The Big Hit is a big mess. It’s part action thriller, part comedy, part satire and part violent, blood-spattered crime drama, all of which add up to wholly forgettable.

Wahlberg is cast as a Maalox-chugging hit man who reluctantly signs on with his pals to kidnap a millionaire’s daughter (Chow). She turns out to be a superbrat, though this doesn’t keep the kindly Wahlberg from falling for her. Not that he needs another woman in his life, since he is already engaged to a spoiled blonde (Applegate, whining away as a stereotyped Jewish-American princess) and is trysting with a money-grubbing mistress (Rochon, who’s barely in the movie). As he did in Boogie Nights, Wahlberg proves he’s an ingratiating performer, and newcomer Chow is lively as the obnoxious kidnappee. Director Che-Kirk Wong, a veteran of Hong Kong’s fashionable kill-’em-all-but-make-it-look-beautiful school of filmmaking, brings a bravura touch to the violent shootout and action sequences here, but the movie is all over the place when it comes to acting styles and pacing. (R)

Bottom Line: Utterly skippable

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