Apr 102002
Authors: Eric Patton

The writers of the comedy “Life” have gotten together again to write a new comedy in the spirit of and with the director of “Get Shorty.” With an ensemble cast, “Big Trouble” takes us on a very funny ride tracing 48 hours in Miami, Fla. and shows us what can happen when the dumbest people alive get thrown together.

The incredible cast includes Dennis Farina, Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Jason Lee, Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci, Andy Richter, Omar Epps, Tom Sizemore, Janeane Garofalo and MTV’s Johnny Knoxville. Those who don’t recognize their names will certainly recognize their faces. They are all introduced at the beginning through a somewhat slow and less-than-comical set-up.

After the introduction of just about all of the characters, the chaos begins, including comedic elements such as a very sexually aggressive dog, a psychedelic toad and Jason Lee (“Mallrats”) living in a tree.

The script is fairly solid. It would have been much stronger if they had focused on the main objective, which was a valuable suitcase, instead of adding the melodramatic and contrived relationship between Allen and his son, Ben Foster.

The dialogue flows very well and progression of each character is done so much better here than in the writers’ earlier work with “Life.” The script offers enough comic characters to make up for some of the predictable and senseless jokes, but be expecting some potential boredom.

There are several scenes worth sitting through that will make you laugh out loud. The events building up to the end are good examples of the comic richness these writers could provide, especially as we follow Dennis Farina’s (“Get Shorty,” “Snatch”) character trying to get out of Miami.

The downfall of this entertaining romp was some of the actors, although great names, seemed to have trouble delivering well-written lines with any conviction or believability. Not all of the actors fell short. In fact, some were perfect, such as Richter, Russo, Lee, Sizemore and Knoxville. The problems came with Tucci (“A Life Less Ordinary”), Allen and the actors portraying the teenagers, Foster (“Whatever it Takes”) and Zooey Deschanel (“Almost Famous”). All four of them gave performances that are more laughable than their characters.

Go see this movie; you won’t regret it. There is comedy, action, a very sexy foreign maid and Puddy from “Seinfeld,” so how could this not be worth the money? I’m going to give this film a B- only because, as I said before, there were several actors who either performed below par or were just flat out annoying. n

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