Urban Cinefile
"the Pixar Glaze, where these complete technical geniuses would just grow pale and start looking at each other like 'Does he know what he's asking? "  -Brad Bird, writer/director, The Incredibles on his naïve wishes in preproduction
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

BIG TROUBLE

SYNOPSIS:
Former Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Eliot Arnold (Tim Allen) now runs an advertising agency in Miami. His life becomes chaotic when his son Matt (Ben Foster) becomes mixed up in a plot to murder property developer Arthur Herk (Stanley Tucci). When Russian arms dealers, desperate ex-convicts, local police, a drifter named Puggy (Jason Lee) and FBI agents enter the picture, Arnold finds himself involved in kidnapping, hijacking and the dangerous contents of a large steel box.


Review by Richard Kuipers:
Complicated barely describes the plot twists in this crime farce adapted from Dave Barry's novel by director Barry Sonnenfeld. No point is served by any attempt to outline further story details, other than to note that everything is tied up neatly and logically as we eventually discover what's inside a particular metal box that everyone wants to own. Though not as breezy or consistently funny as his similarly-styled Get Shorty, Barry Sonnenfeld puts a dream cast through their paces smartly enough to make this enjoyable nonsense. Standouts are Stanley Tucci as a sleazy property developer with a foot fetish, Rene Russo as his blonde knockout wife and, best of all, Zooey Deschanel as Russo's straight talking daughter who tells boys to "stop staring at my boobs" and "don't look at my ass when I walk away". Elsewhere there are fun contributions from Dennis Farina as a hitman, Tom Sizemore as a dumb crook, Janeane Garofalo as a cop and Tim Allen, appealing as the central character about whom most of this frantic tale revolves. While there are plenty of chuckles this doesn't deliver the big payoffs it promises. It's so overcrowded and anxious to move to the next scene that good gags are lost in the slipstream. Without being a must-see this is worth a look for the cast alone. If you're wondering why this star-studded comedy made in 2001 has only just now been dumped in cinemas with almost no publicity, the plot involving terrorists and hijackings is your answer. Finally, no credit at all to Hoyts/Village/Greater Union cinemas in George St, Sydney where this film was projected in the wrong aspect ratio for half an hour at the 10.45am session on Thursday May 23. Worse still, the uncorrected frame bar gave us the bottom third of the picture at the top and the top 2/3 at the bottom. It took so long to correct the error that I wondered just how many fully qualified and professional projectionists were on duty at the time.

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

BIG TROUBLE (M)
(US)

CAST: Tim Allen, Omar Epps, Dennis Farina, Ben Foster, Janeane Garofalo, Jason Lee, Rene Russo, Tom Sizemore

PRODUCER: Tom Jacobson, Barry Josephson, Barry Sonnenfeld

DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnenfeld

SCRIPT: Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone (screenplay) Dave Barry (novel)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Greg Gardiner

EDITOR: Steven Weisberg

MUSIC: James Newton Howard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Garreth Stover

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 23, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE

VIDEO RELEASE: November 13, 2002







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017