The Big Bang ties a rattling apocalypse subplot to the tailpipe of a detective noir, a trick that answers what in retrospect seems like an incredibly urgent question: Can Antonio Banderas out-drive the end of the world? Alas, it’s a long, mildly diverting trip to that moment. On the way, Los Angeles private dick Ned Cruz (Banderas) goes looking for a dish named Lexie, the penpal girlfriend of Anton (Robert Maillet), an overgrown boxer just out of prison. Having toured an L.A. underworld credibly populated by James Van Der Beek and Snoop Dogg, Cruz heads for New Mexico, where Lexie has supposedly buried Anton’s mobbed-up diamonds. What Cruz finds in the desert is an entirely different movie, one involving a layover with a physics-nerd waitress, Johnny Marr’s silky score, and Sam Elliott masterminding a re-creation of the Big Bang in order to extract the so-called God particle. Director Tony Krantz produced Mullholland Dr., and though the setup is pure Raymond Chandler (Farewell, My Lovely, specifically), the film’s bleary, neon glamour and penchant for the bizarre suggests an attempted—and wayward—homage to David Lynch.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 11, 2011