Retro Review: Big Trouble

It has been a long time since veteran director Barry Sonnenfeld has really brought us a riotous comedy.

His last hits were 1997’s “Men in Black” and the critically acclaimed 1998- CBS series “Maximum Bob”.

Sonnenfeld is looking at leaping back into the limelight with his latest comedy “Big Trouble”. After “Trouble”, Sonnenfeld also has the live-action TV comic-series “The Tick” and “Men in Black 2”. It looks like Sonnefeld has his career back on track.

“Big Trouble” chronicles the lives of 14 citizens in Miami, who are intertwined through their connection to a metal suitcase containing a nuclear bomb.

There is a father (Tim Allen) who is trying to gain the respect of his son, an embittered husband (Stanley Tucci) who has been targeted by a hitman (Dennis Farina) after a business deal goes sour, the embittered husband’s wife (Rene Russo) who is having an affair, two idiot crooks (Tom Sizemore, Johnny Knoxville) who have brains the size of a peanuts, a street-guy named Puggy (Jason Lee) who accidentally ends up working for the Russian mob and finally the police (Patrick Warburton, Janeane Garofalo) who are trying to keep these people sane. Take these twisted characters and add circumstantially ridiculous scenes and you have the ingredients for total hilarity mayhem.

To put it mildly that is what “Big Trouble” is. It is “hilarity mayhem”. As a film lover just the cast is astounding to see together on screen. But the script is comedic brilliance as it delivers laugh after laugh through pure idiocy for the full 85 minutes. I don’t think I have laughed this much since “Rat Race”. Except “Big Trouble” could be funnier than “Race”.

I know when you leave the theatre you won’t remember what the film’s setup or plot was but you will be uttering the catch-phrase “Was that a goat?” and laughing hysterically all the way home.

As a film critic, it’s strange to praise a film that doesn’t have a solidified plot or storyline. The film is more about the assortment of wacky characters than the plot. This style of comedic filmmaking was also cleverly executed in Sonnenfeld’s “Maximum Bob” TV series. The quick-witted writing and wacky characters were plentiful in that short-lived series as well.

Sonnenfeld also seems to have adapted the screenplay by famous comedy writer Dave Barry into an Elmore Leonard style comedy. Can you imagine if “Get Shorty” would have been as funny as “Rat Race” then you may understand a little of the style of “Big Trouble”. I also have to praise the comedy for being so original. After so many screwball and “gross-out” comedies, it is nice to see a comedy so cleverly written.

Go see “Trouble” and laugh till your belly hurts.

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Retro Review: Big Trouble

  1. The reason this is so funny? It’s based on Dave Barry’s only work of fiction. Dave Barry is the funniest man on the planet, and this film quite shockingly does justice to his work.

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