Plot: A mysterious briefcase has arrived in Miami and before long, a host of people will try to gain possession of it or be pulled into the chaos that results when forces clash over who it belongs to. A crime boss is determined to haul in the case and stake his claim, but there is a price on his head, so even if he is able to secure the case, assassins could close in at any second. At the same time, a high school prank draws the crime boss and his family into contact with another family, which sparks some potential romance and that causes all kinds of drama. Not to mention the pair of hapless, but ambitious crooks who plan to hijack the case and the federal agents assigned to the task themselves, creating a large section of individuals interested in or within close proximity to the case. But who will manage to finally claim the mysterious case and will anyone ever find out what happens to be inside?
Entertainment Value: Big Trouble feels like an attempt to put some modern spins on the screwball comedy formula and while it doesn’t capture that spirit, it does offer some passable laughs. The narrative is kind of all over the place, with various threads that are woven in and out of the main story, but the chaos isn’t an issue and suits the general tone of the movie. After all, this is a big cast and there’s a lot of moving pieces, so it makes sense that the narrative would be mixed around at times and the side threads run a little wild. The end result is inconsistent, as you might think, as not all the stories are good and sometimes the bad ones creep into the good ones, so on and so forth. But some of the threads are quite fun or at least laughable and at times, the cast is able to balance out the weaker moments with colorful performances. The movie doesn’t overstay its welcome either, with an under 90 minute run time, so it runs in, throws a lot of jokes on screen, then knows when to bow out. So even if a good amount of the material flops, the pace is so brisk, you’re onto a new scene before long. I can’t say Big Trouble is a great movie, but there are some laughs here and the cast is a lot of fun. So for fans of big, star studded comedies with a screwball edge, might be worth a look.
The cast here is an impressive ensemble and for the most part, the performers run with the over the top, zany nature of the material. This leads to some humorous efforts of course, made even funnier by how enthusiastic some of the cast is in diving into these colorful roles. I also appreciated how despite the large group of talent involved, each of the performers is given multiple chances to take the spotlight and shine, so no one is brushed over here. His role is one of the smaller ones, but I think Tom Sizemore is often quite humorous here and while he goes really over the top, his performance fits right with the screwball material. The entire movie is pretty much comic relief, but Sizemore and Johnny Knoxville really dial up the wackiness, though sometimes it does fall a touch flat. I also think Dennis Farina is very well used in Big Trouble, while Tim Allen has the lead, but one of the less interesting characters. The cast also includes Zooey Deschanel, Rene Russo, Patrick Warburton, and Stanley Tucci.