The Big Bang


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Superficially, The Big Bang follows all the rules and clichés of the of the "tough L.A. detective" genre that first became popular in the old black-and-white days. As in the Spade and Marlowe stories and the endless string of films created in the spirit of those novels, the poor but honest private eye is hired for what seems like a simple case with a good payoff, but he eventually finds himself enmeshed in a tangled web of lies and conspiracies involving the highest levels of wealth and power. Along the way, he does a lot of narration, gets lied to constantly, runs into some sexy dames, interrogates some reluctant bartenders, gets sideswiped by crooked cops, gets roughed up by some big galoots, flashes his roscoe, and runs into some rich people with powerful strains of mental illness in their family histories. Everything is  complicated, and nothing is as it first seems. That's a pretty accurate description of both The Big Bang and The Big Sleep.

Antonio Banderas plays the private dick who is hired by a gigantic ex-con to find a stripper who wrote to him while he was in the joint. After a series of misadventures and red herrings in L.A., Banderas ends up out in the New Mexico desert because the missing stripper turns out to be the wife, and virtually the captive, of a crazy billionaire who is executing a wild scheme out there under the sands. "The crazy rich dude without limits" is a stock character in noir detective films, but this particular one, played by Sam Elliott, is richer and crazier than usual. He's not just trying to corner the market on water or something. He wants his own personal universe. Obsessed with metaphysical concepts developed during some LSD trips, he is literally trying to re-create the big bang by building a particle accelerator in some abandoned military facilities beneath the New Mexico desert.

As befits such a crazy premise, the film comes up with a climax that is truly over-the-top, and Banderas ends up using a souped-up power car to drive away from what seems like the end of the world. The lesson here: make sure you have plenty of gas in your tank at all times, in case you need to speed away from Ragnarok. And also because that vintage convertible could be completely unique and highly valuable if you can somehow squeeze it into the newly-formed universe which emerges from the destruction of our own. But you'll have to drive your car there, because Mayflower charges an arm and a leg for inter-dimensional moves, and they calculate the charge by the pound, so you can guess how much a convertible would cost.

As similar as the two films might be on the surface, The Big Bang is not The Big Sleep, which took itself quite seriously. I was never sure whether The Big Bang was supposed to be a noir detective film or a straight-faced parody of same. Maybe a bit of both. One thing is certain: whether it is supposed to be an tongue-in-check action film, a genre parody, or a black comedy, this film is "out there." It is a strange, strange film in may ways. I have barely scratched the surface of it in these paragraphs. It's not just the premise which is outlandish. The characters are universally exaggerated and the visuals can be completely surreal. And if you don't really care for the elements already mentioned, let me add one more thing: Autumn Reeser's sex scene is fantastic, in every sense of that word. Best of all, it's completely gratuitous. Not only is the sex and nudity irrelevant and unnecessary to the plot, but Autumn's entire character should theoretically be nothing more than an incidental extra. She was just a waitress in a run-down dive of a coffee shop out in the desert. Banderas asked her if she had seen the woman in a photo. She had not. That could easily have been the last we saw of her, except that she and Banderas seemed to like one another, and promptly agreed to a rendezvous, which is my way of saying they fucked non-stop for three and a half minutes. The only purpose of that scene is to entertain you with a hot sex scene! As the Good Lord intended.

I'm writing this before the film has been released in North America, and I haven't heard anything about the distribution plans for this movie. I guess The Big Bang will go straight to DVD in the USA. It's not an especially good film, and it's not the kind of film that will pack the theaters with mainstream viewers, but it's so downright loony that it can be fascinating. If you have a taste for the unusual, this might be your cup of tea. I'm not saying that you will definitely like it, but I guarantee that it will meet your minimum daily requirement for odd stuff in a good old-fashioned exploitation film.

Awaiting DVD info



  No major reviews online.


5.6 IMDB summary (of 10)




Unreleased when this was written.


  • Autumn Reeser bares all in an incredibly hot and long sex scene. She looks great.
  • Rachel Handler provides a full-length rear view as a stripper.




Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Quirky and weird, it is part noir detective film, part parody of same. And surprisingly fascinating!