The director of “Get Shorty” has produced a highly stylized and devilishly entertaining movie in the Hollywood tradition of bumbling ex-cons and cops, confused professionals and hallucinogen-squirting toads. The much-anticipated “Big Trouble” is intermingling storylines of pure comic cynicism featuring seasoned actors and some up-and-comers.
Caught up in the middle of the mayhem of “Trouble” is divorcé and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Eliot Arnold (Tim Allen). Struggling with the day-to-day problems of running his own ad agency, Arnold must win the respect of his teenaged son while sleeping around. He meets a housewife (Rene Russo) unhappily married to a crooked businessman and foot fetishist (Stanley Tucci). The fetishist happens to be targeted by two New Jersey hitmen dealing with the bizarre events taking place around them in South Florida. Meanwhile, a couple of mismatched cops are trying to protect and serve, and a despicable duo of ex-cons is trying to stir up trouble.
Throw in some illegal weapon-hoarding Russians, a gentle-natured hippie and crooked FBI agents, and you’ve got a pleasant mix of screwball characters.
The ensemble cast includes Jason Lee, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, MTV’s “Jackass” Johnny Knoxville and other cameos include Janeane Garofalo, Patrick Warburton and Conan O’Brien’s former co-host, Andy Richter.
Sept. 11 delayed the Fall 2001 release due to content like nuclear warheads, idiotic airport security and hijacked planes. Based on the novel by Dave Barry, screenwriters Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone control the multitude of characters well and the comedy is biting. Director Barry Sonnenfeld (“Men in Black”, “The Addams Family” films) turns the large group of characters into a tightly knit picture. From the opening frame to the final fadeout, “Trouble” will have you rolling with its sharp sarcastic edge, and it sure beats out the dick and fart jokes that seem to have prevailed over the past year.