Big Trouble (2002)
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Review Date: April 03, 2002
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone
Producers: Barry Sonnenfeld, Tom Jacobson
Tim Allen
Rene Russo
Tom Sizemore
Shit, this is gonna be a tough one. Okay, it starts with two hitmen who are hired to kill this rich, arrogant bastard. But just as they're about to whack the guy, a teenager with a squirt gun gets in the way, and the wife and daughter both jump the teen, as the hitmen escape. During their escape, they trip over the maid, and a man jumps out of a tree to subdue them. Then, two cops arrive at the scene and it isn't long before a Russian bar-owner is selling a nuclear bomb to the man who was supposed to get killed, and that's just the first ten minutes, folks. And yes, hilarity ensues.
A really short, quirky, funny comedy, that basically rips off the general setting, style and beats of GET SHORTY (no worries though, it's the same director and at least two of the same cast members) and doesn't pretend to be about anything more than a bunch of goofy characters, running around, falling over one another, intertwining in plot twists and having fun. My guess is that pretty much everyone is going to find at least one character or another to enjoy in this movie (especially when you consider that there are about 10-15 main "leads"), and for me, they were Stanley Tucci (who is starting to make a habit out of stealing movies), Tom Sizemore and Puddy (aka Patrick Warburton). Tucci especially is so over-the-top, perverted and arrogant in the film, that you just can't help but crack up every time he opens his big, damn mouth. He's also got a thing about "sucking toes", but I'll leave that as it is. It's too bad that his character "disappears" about halfway through the movie. The pace and dialogue are also two strong points of the film. It moves, it shakes, it doesn't wait for you to catch up and it switches from character, to character to character, in a blink of an eye. Many "small" cameos were also quite humorous, like Andy Richter as the drunken security guy and that crazy Russian dude who ran the bar with a "bad location". Kvacked me up!

The disappointments? Well, there really weren't too many but the two big ones were Tim Allen and Rene Russo, and not because they weren't good in their respective roles, but because their characters were basically the "straight" people in the film, and ended up looking pretty boring, compared to the rest of the kooky nutballs running around. The two FBI agents were also not all that comedic, and the usually hilarious Janeane Garofalo and Jason Lee were good, but not as "out there" as they typically are (although Lee's character was definitely unique and interesting, in his own way). The film also seemed to have more laughs during its first half but the energy level was high all the way through. Once again, I find myself saying that a particular film isn't going to win any Oscars, but it's obviously not its intention either. It's a fun movie with lots of colorful characters, lots of bizarre plot meanderings and quite a few memorable sequences and lines (the whole radio show "Gators" thing cracked me up). But wait, I forget to mention the always reliable, Dennis Farina, who once again, plays the same character as he usually does, but once again, hits a number of scenes out of the ballpark. Just watching this guy's face as the automatic seatbelt contraption grazed over it, was a delight. There were plenty of fun pop-culture references as well, and an upbeat score, which was also a little reminiscent of GET SHORTY, but definitely not as catchy.

On the whole, I find it strange that director Sonnenfeld felt the need to go back to his same bag o' tricks for this movie, but then again, not too many people complained when Guy Ritchie essentially recreated LOCK, STOCK and did SNATCH a couple of years later (two films which also feature intertwining characters and plot points). See it if you don't have too much time to waste (it barely runs for 85 minutes), want to laugh and want to see Patrick Warburton run naked through an airport (yes, please!). Skip it, if you're still not ready to deal with a film that includes a major plot point about bringing a bomb onto a plane (it felt a little weird to me too, but didn't really take me "out" of the film). Oh yeah, there's also a voice-over throughout most of the film, and lots of freeze-frames, so if those two movie "tricks" bother you...buyer beware. Fans of RAT RACE, will likely adore this flick! Hehehe.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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