Big Trouble


Tim Allen as Eliot Arnold
Rene Russo as Anna Herk
Tom Sizemore as Snake
Janeane Garofalo as Monica Ramiro
Omar Epps as Pat Greer
Dennis Farina as Henry Algott
Stanley Tucci as Arthur Herk
Patrick Warburton as Walter Kramitz
DJ Qualls as Andrew Ryan
Johnny Knoxville as Eddie
Zooey Deschanel as Jenny Herk
Cullen Douglas as Justin Hobart
Ben Foster as Matt Arnold
Heavy D as Alan Seitz
Daniel London as Ivan Chukov
Philip Nolen as Ken Deeber
Pruitt Taylor Vince as Jack Pendick
Sofía Vergara as Nina
Jason Lee as Puggy
Lars Arentz-Hansen as Leonid

Special Features:
Audio Commentary by Director Barry Sonnenfeld
Big Trouble In Five Minutes

Other Info:
Widescreen (1:85:1) – Enhanced For 16×9 Televisions
Running Time: 85 Mins.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Captions Subtitles, French and Spanish Subtitles

Big Trouble was based on the novel by humor columnist Dave Barry. The film was scheduled to be released in September 2001, but was postponed due to the terrorist attacks.

The lives of several Miami residents become intertwined in a dangerous plot after a series of improbable incidents occur. Several different stories all happen at once and eventually come together into a final resolution. They include Eliot Arnold, a former humor columnist who has been recently divorced, trying to win the respect of his son Matt. In turn, Matt falls for Jenny Hurk after a game of water pistols ends up getting him in trouble with the police. Jenny and her mother Anna live with Arthur Hurk, an arrogant individual who also happens to be involved with the mob. Then there’s two guys trying to kill Arthur, two cops investigating all of the local disturbances, a Frito loving drifter named Puggy who lives in a tree, and two Russians who have in their possession a nuclear bomb. When two thugs named Snake and Eddie mistakenly steal the nuclear bomb (thinking it’s a garbage disposal), all of the stories come together into a climax at the airport with the FBI.

“Big Trouble” is rated PG-13 for language, crude humor and sex-related, material.

The Movie:
I originally reviewed this movie upon its theatrical release. You can read my original review here. I loved the cast. I loved the director, Barry Sonnenfeld. I loved the writer of the novel this was based on, Dave Barry. This movie had everything going for it, yet in the end it was confusing, only mildly amusing, and it fell flat. Big Trouble was a big disappointment.

The movie looks good on DVD, though, and the soundtrack sounds fantastic on the home theater system. The Latin music adds a lot of the spark to the movie and is well done by James Newton Howard.

In the end, Big Trouble is the kind of movie you’ll want to rent out of curiosity, then send back to the video store.

The Extras:
There are only two bonus features on this DVD. The first is a replay of the film in five minutes. At least that’s how it’s advertised. It’s actually 7 ½ minutes. In any case, it’s just selected clips from the film which outline the basic plot of the movie. Why they did this, I have no idea. It’s an utterly pointless extra feature. At 85 minutes, it’s not like the movie is too long as is. And why would you want to watch this anyway when you have the full movie available at the press of a button? A lot of the sub-plots are cut out of this Cliff Notes version, too.

The second feature is the Barry Sonnenfeld commentary. It’s the only redeeming feature on this DVD. Sonnenfeld is funny and offers a lot of trivia about the film. He talks about the headaches of dealing with such a large cast. He talks about getting Martha Stewart to act like a dog. He talks about how they shot at various locations and how he likes his actors to talk fast. It’s interesting to listen to even if the movie isn’t great. On an odd side note, this commentary starts out with a disclaimer from Touchstone saying that Sonnenfeld’s commentary is his own opinion and does not necessarily reflect their opinion. That just seemed really odd to me. I’d never seen that on a commentary before. I wonder what he said to make that necessary.

The Bottom Line:
Rent this one at the video store after you’ve seen everything else.