The Big Kahuna Review by Liss @ DMS
I didn’t care for American Beauty which comes as no surprise to the Spacey chat and message board fans (watch for my upcoming review of AB). Kevin Spacey has very passionate fans with strong opinions about his movies and the year that American Beauty consumed the Spacey Internet world was very intense. And very loooong for someone who didn’t like the movie. Honestly, I took quite a beating for not liking American Beauty and saying so. So I was a little worried about what would happen if I didn’t like this one. I really wanted to like this one! But instead, I absolutely love this movie.
I was fortunate enough to have this movie play near my house. In the beginning of the movie, Larry seemed a lot like Hickey, Kevin’s character in The Iceman Cometh which I was lucky enough to see on Broadway last year. I assume this was because he was working on that play and this movie at the same time. But once he seemed to relax in the role a bit more, I found myself thinking I hadn’t seen this kind of work from Kevin since L.A. Confidential. In fact, he gave so much more than he usually does. Kevin’s fans all know how his characters always seem to be uncomfortable showing real emotion. So to see him showing vulnerability, desperation, fear and anger was a surprise.
The Big Kahuna is about 3 salesmen trying to land a big, important client at a sales convention in Wichita, Kansas. The men are of different ages and are at different stages of life. You could say it was really the story of one man at 3 stages of life. You have the very young, naive and earnest man. The man closer to middle age who realizes how easy it will be to lose everything he’s worked for. And the older man who knows that something else will come along and the work isn’t the only thing in life.
Kevin is Larry, the second man. I was very impressed with him in this movie and Danny De Vito was incredible. This was the first time I’d seen Peter Facinelli, but I disagree strongly with the “real” critics who said he added nothing.
The scene between Kevin and Danny that discusses God was great. One funny thing that stands out is a scene which has a TV on while a “hair in a spray can” commercial was on. This is funny to me since Kevin’s adorable but currently hidden bald spot is a favorite topic of conversation among fans.
I could go on and on but I’ll stop now and say that I bought this as soon as it was available on DVD and have watched it several times and enjoy it more each time. I also have the soundtrack which is lots of fun.
I was disappointed that the movie received little attention after the massive attention that American Beauty received and few of the fans I conversed with seemed to like it very much while I did so there wasn’t the talking about it that I was hoping there would be, but them’s the breaks.
I give the movie and Kevin ****1/2 out of 5.
The Big Kahuna by spaceyfan
For those who love comedy, drama, and plays, this movie has it all. What is interesting is that this movie touches on character, choices, and religion. Three businessmen are at a convention, and they are all at different stages in their life and career: Bob, fresh out of school and newly married, has no clue what to do. Larry, the self-assured man, bored, lost, confused, but driven to get the big sale. Phil, the older, wiser, more introspective man who looks back on his career and is not fully satisfied. Bring these 3 people together into one room, basically where the entire movie takes place. Some people call it claustrophobic. But the script is very engaging, that 45 minutes into the film, you realize they are still in the same room! Kevin has been said to be a brainy actor, that is, he relies on dialogue. so if you enjoy hearing Kevin talk talk talk, this movie is for you. ~
The Big Kahuna by I_Go_Alone
Every fan of Spacey should see this movie. I personally think it one of Spacey’s finest pieces of work. It doesn’t top American Beauty for me, but it is close. I won’t get into the plot because it has probably been explained by other fan reviewers. The acting by all three actors is superb. Danny Devito is fantastic and very different than in the comedic roles I am used to see him playing. There’s not a lot of action; it is basically three men in a hotel room talking. It is based on a play, and I don’t think they changed it much for the screen. It feels like a play. Spacey is incredible. At the beginning he comes off as this slicky player type of person, but throughout the movie he gives you glimpses of the character’s vulnerability and sensitivity. It’s a really great role for him. Enjoy! ~
The Big Kahuna by That’s more like it
OK, OK…..I admit it. I panned Pay It Forward on this site several months ago. Even went so far as to suggest that “he needed the cash for a medical problem”. I still hate that movie but have found sweet rewards in The Big Kahuna. A big “thank you” to Mr. Spacey for bringing this movie about. The casting in Kahuna is perfect – DeVito was pure genius, Facinnelli doe-eyed but believable and Spacey was Spacey – all that I hope for in his performances. He delivered on time and with the struggle of a man smart enough to know better but human enough to not let it go. My admiration for Mr. Spacey’s talent is based on his ability to cock-sure get my attention and was once again successful in doing that with Kahuna. If this is a sample of what Trigger Street hopes to accomplish, sign me up to work there. ~
The Big Kahuna review by Anne Mott
This film makes me think, which may be a good thing. It takes a look at hypocrisy, and makes a good case for being sincere with our fellow humans. It portrays the “Christian” character Bob, in a fairly good light. He comes across as sincere, though sometimes immature. Larry was hard to understand until I saw it three times. Now I like him. I think this is a film for fans of the actors, more than a film that stands on it’s own merits. Danny DeVito gives a wonderful performance, as does Kevin Spacey. I give this film **1/2 of 5.