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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> October 2000 >> The Big Kahuna

The Big Kahuna

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
October 2000
IMDB Name:
Big Kahuna, The (1999)
John Swanbeck
MPAA Rating:
R for language.

Making the Sale

The Big Kahuna feels like a lighter take on the material that went into Glengarry Glen Ross. It's built on a small cast of salesmen trying to turn the company around with a big sale. Kahuna is tamer in almost every respect, and takes tangents as the men think about what's really important in their lives. The dramatic tension comes from a fresh hire who doesn't keep industrial lubricants at the top of his loyalty list, an anathema to the sales veterans with whom he's been teamed. As interesting as this is, it doesn't have the sheer dramatic force of GGR.

Big Kahuna is based on a Roger Rueff play, so the staging is minimal and the cast small. The performances by Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito are as good as is now expected. Newcomer Peter Facinelli does a reasonable job as a fresh-faced guy from research. Spacey and DeVito have a good rapport as befitting road warriors with years of joint experience. Facinelli's nervousness makes sense for the character, but it also makes him look outgunned in the acting sense.

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Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.