"I haven't yet read the Dave Barry novel from which this movie was adapted, yet I enjoyed it very much. Tim Allen plays Eliot Arnold, a former pulitzer prize winning journalist that wrote satirical columns, much like Barry, but is finally fired for overreacting to an order from his editor. He finds himself divorced and stuck in an advertising job that he loathes. On top of that, he can't get the respect of his son.Rene Russo plays Anna Herk, the house wife of an executive that is embezzeling money from his employer, which earns him the sights of assassins (Dennis Farina among them). Her daughter is targeted by Allen's watergun toting sun in a school game of 'assassin' in which everyone draws names and attempts to 'terminate' their victim. Everyone seems to show up at Herk's house at once and things get confusing.Before you know it, two dimwits have stolen an atomic bomb, that resembles a garbage disposal, from some Russian arms dealers, and they get tangled up in the plot. Janene Garofalo and Patrick Warburton play unlikely partners with the Miami police department that tag along for the adventure. Throw in some goats, don't ask--just watch, and a call in show that taunts Florida Gator fans after the football team lost, and this makes for an unlikely funny comedy. Barry Sonenfeld, director, did a great job. I highly recommend it."
"Big Trouble" has big laughs
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 01/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It was sheer bad luck that "Big Trouble" was supposed to be released right around the time of the September 11 attacks. And even afterwards, parts of it (about bombs on planes and airport security) just didn't seem that funny anymore. Even so, it's a hilarious slapstick ride (well duh, it's based on a Dave Barry book)Eliot Arnold (Tim Allen) has a job he hates, a car his son Matt (Ben Foster) hates, and a loud obnoxious client that everyone hates. A bomb in a footlocker arrives in Miami, in a lowlife bar run by Russian arms dealers. (No I am not making this up) Meanwhile, a pair of assassins called Henry (Dennis Farina) and Leo (Jack Kehler) arrive in Miami to shoot a crooked embezzling foot-fetishist businessman called Arthur Herk (Stanley Tucci). Their assassination plot goes awry when Matt leaps out at Arthur's stepdaughter Jenny (Zooey Deschanel) with a squirt gun, and is promptly tackled by Jenny and her mom Anna (Rene Russo, in a peroxide-blonde wig).Eliot and Anna immediately are attracted to one another. As Eliot tries to figure out his relationship with Matt, Arthur buys the bomb, but soon the two assassins, two street thugs trying to become kingpins, two deadpan FBI agents, an immigrant maid, a spacey homeless guy and two irritable cops are in the middle of a wild chase over a nuclear bomb. And Miami has about forty-five minutes left...Confused? Oh yeah. This movie is far from simple, in a slapstick sort of way. The humor is unashamedly stupid, making fun of teens, dogs, hallucinogenic toads, goats, people who smoke a lot in restaurants, newspaper bosses, dumb street thugs, Miami in general, and airline security. (Somehow this last one isn't as funny as it used to be) They even get in a nod to the original author Dave Barry. Most of the violence and romance isn't serious either (like the frantic makeout scene where Anna and Eliot gyrate around his office, spilling hot coffee and breaking knicknacks). The one exception is the adorable romance between sweet-natured bum Puggy (Jason Lee, who looks like Jesus impersonator) and maid Nina (Sofía Vergara), who are so sweet and shy that it brings a tear to your eye.Tim Allen is hilarious as the ad-agent-turned-national-hero, especially the scene where he chases the airplane down the runway. Rene Russo is also great, balancing out the funniness with serious acting; Ben Foster is great as Matt; Farina and Kehler are a pair of endearingly straightforward hit men who are enjoying the whole fiasco; Janeane Garofalo and Patrick Warburton are great as well, as the cop who focuses on crime and protecting the public, and the other cop who merely wants to sleep with any halfway attractive female. Stanley Tucci is outrageously hateable as Arthur.There's a lot of sex-related humor (nothing too hideous), plenty of swearing, and the makeout scene. There's also violence, but none of it is gory and some is just absurd (like when Eliot runs the car into the goat). The best scenes are probably when the enormous toad spritzes Arthur in the face. What happens? Watch for yourself! I'm not going to tell you!And... "She know my name! She knows everything! SHE'S COMING TO TAKE MY SOUL!""
"Big Trouble (based on the novel by Dave Barry) has a fast-paced, complicated plot that works as well on screen as it does in print. The story is like a knot in a shoelace -- when you try to pull on it, you just end up with more knots. There's an advertising guy (Tim Allen) whose son (Ben Foster) is supposed to shoot a girl (Zooey Deschanel) with a squirt gun as a part of a game at school. Meanwhile, a pair of hit men (Jack Kehler and Dennis Farina) are after the girl's step-dad (Stanley Tucci) - and his wife (Rene Russo) couldn't care less. There's a man (Jason Lee) living in their tree house who works for two Russians who sell weapons to the step-dad. Two small-time crooks (Tom Sizemore and Johnny Knoxville) stumble over the deal and decide to get a piece of the action. And then a pair of cops (Janeane Garofalo and Patrick Warburton), a pair of FBI agents (Omar Epps and Heavy D), and a giant toad get thrown in for a little extra fun. Big Trouble is a wonderfully goofy movie -- but what else would you expect from Dave Barry? Sure, some of the gags miss the mark a bit, but there are plenty more where those came from. Be warned -- this movie is not for the weak-humored. If you can't handle silliness, steer clear. If, however, you love the occasional downright goofiness, you're in for a treat."
Funniest thing in a long time...
Stella | VA, USA | 04/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was already a huge fan of Dave Barry and his book Big Trouble, and then when I heard there would be a movie I went crazy. At first I thought maybe it wouldn't live up to the book's standards, but then I saw it last night (opening night) and it was soooo good! This movie has something for everyone, goats, hallucinogenic toads, Martha Stewart, Gators fans, and so much more! Most of the theatre was actually laughing so hard we couldn't breathe.
This film is definetely a partner film. What I mean by that is, that all the many characters are always paired up with someone else, and it is the LACK of chemistry that makes it so hilarious. You keep thinking, these people should never be together, so of course chaos ensues.
The movie's story is partially told through narration by advertising executive Elliot Arnold, played expertely by Tim Allen. Some things were changed from the book, but they were minor and pulled off very well. The whole cast does an excellent job and you get the feeling this is very much an ensemble film.
One thing I would suggest is reading the book if you have not. The plot (or what there is of one!) is a bit confusing, and the book is just as funny if not funnier than the movie, and I think anyone could find it funny."
A must see crime comedy
J. J Woehr | Lindenhurst, NY United States | 10/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"... Well Big Trouble's release was heald back and when it was released it got some bad reviews. I think critics need their sense of humors checked out as this movie is the funniest movie of the year and has an excellent cast. I think it's one of the years best actually. It's stylist, story is well put together and the jokes are well thought out and delivered. Tim Allen I think has shown he's ready for a lot more challenging and much different roles, mean I'm starting to look at him more than just Tim the tool man Taylor. Besides him being good, Stanley Tucci, Tom Sizemore and Jason Lee are funny in supporting roles as well. Don't remember his name but the former star of the Tick is just hilarious, he should have a role in every comedy. ... Dennis Farina is in the movie too of course, ... Here he's a bit different though, he doesn't curse as much, haha, plus he's a bit more likeable too. Rene Russo is a good actress but here she doesn't have much to do, had a much better role in Get Shorty. Other than that there's a fine esamble cast that just work great together. I strongly recommend Big Trouble to anyone who needs a good laugh."