Main cast: Tim Allen (Eliot Arnold), Rene Russo (Anna Herk), Stanley Tucci (Arthur Herk), Tom Sizemore (Snake), Johnny Knoxville (Eddie), Dennis Farina (Henry Algott), Jack Kehler (Leonard), Janeane Garofalo (Monica Ramiro), Patrick Warburton (Walter Kramitz), Ben Foster (Matt Arnold), Zooey Deschanel (Jenny Herk), Heavy D (Alan Seitz), Omar Epps (Pat Greer), Jason Lee (Puggy), and Sofía Vergara (Nina)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
The first thing that struck me about Big Trouble is what a big fat cliché it is. It is as if someone has deliberately made a movie starring actors and actresses that play the roles they could easily hold trademarks to. I mean, come on, Dennis Farina playing yet another mobster? Stanley Tucci playing yet another snake husband? Rene Russo sexpot housewife of snake husband? I find myself waiting for Robert De Niro to come on with his tired funny gangster act, but he’s probably too expensive for this movie.
I won’t be giving away the plot of this story, because that will pretty much have me spoiling the entire movie. But avid movie-goers looking at the cast list can probably guess the roles the cast will be playing with both eyes shut. Yes, Jeanne Garofalo plays the wise-cracking cop who wears red lingerie underneath her uniform. Ben Foster and Zooey Deschanel play the teenagers with hormones out of control. Jason Lee plays the homeless wisecracker who has the lusty maid in lust with him. And Tim Allen, well, he plays Tim Allen.
And let’s not forget our token black characters, the – who else? – gangsters of the hood.
Big Trouble is a moderately enjoyable ensemble movie that blends comedy with crime. But it’s toothless and too familiar, and it ends up trying too hard to play with the big boys of noir. What I would’ve give to have Christopher Walken make a cameo and blast everybody to kingdom come. And yes, Tim Allen is still as irritating as ever, playing his role with that familiar smug, lazy smirk of his and reeking of self-entitlement from every inch of his being. Oh, for Christopher Walken to do a Pulp Fiction on his sorry ass.