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Chaos and Comedy Combine: Exploring the Making of Big Trouble

If you’re looking for a fun-filled movie with a lot of laughs, then Big Trouble is definitely one to add to your watch list. The movie was released in 2002 and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who’s known for his work on the Men in Black franchise.

Big Trouble is based on the novel by Dave Barry, who also co-wrote the screenplay. With an all-star cast that includes Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, and Janeane Garofalo, you’re sure to be entertained from beginning to end.

The Plot:

The movie takes place in Miami and follows the lives of several characters, whose lives intersect in various unexpected ways. Pete (Tim Allen) is a divorced dad trying to connect with his son, who’s trying to impress a girl.

Arthur Herk (Stanley Tucci) is a wealthy businessman who’s having an affair with his wife’s best friend. Henry Desalvo (Dennis Farina) is a hitman who’s hired to kill Arthur Herk.

And then there’s the two bumbling criminals, Snake (Johnny Knoxville) and Eddie (Jack Kehler), who are trying to pull off a heist. As the plot unfolds, everything becomes increasingly chaotic.

When Snake and Eddie mistakenly end up with a bag containing a bomb meant for Arthur Herk, they set off a series of events that threatens the lives of everyone involved. Meanwhile, the local police are investigating a suspicious package that turns out to be a snake, which causes a city-wide panic.

All the while, Pete and his son find themselves in the middle of the chaos, trying to survive the madness. The Characters:

One of the strengths of Big Trouble is its ensemble cast, which features a diverse range of characters, each with their own unique quirks and motivations.

Pete, played by Tim Allen, is the heart of the movie. He’s a relatable character who’s just trying to do right by his son.

Rene Russo plays Anna Herk, Arthur Herk’s wife, who has her own secrets and motivations. Arthur Herk, played by Stanley Tucci, is a great villain – suave and slimy.

The two criminals, Snake and Eddie, are hilariously inept. And then there’s Janeane Garofalo’s character, Monica, a no-nonsense police officer who’s tasked with solving the mystery of the snake.

The Humor:

What sets Big Trouble apart is its sense of humor. The movie is packed with slapstick comedy, subtle jokes, and sight gags.

There’s a scene where the hitman, Henry Desalvo, is trying to shoot a dog, but keeps getting interrupted by people crossing his line of sight. Another scene involves a ransom note that’s been cut out of magazines, but the kidnapper has accidentally included letters that don’t belong.

The humor is sometimes silly and over the top, but it works within the context of the movie. Conclusion:

Big Trouble is a fun, fast-paced movie that’s perfect for a lazy afternoon.

It’s the kind of movie where you don’t need to think too hard, but you’ll still be entertained. The all-star cast of characters, hilarious jokes, and chaotic plot make for a memorable movie experience.

Big Trouble is a comedic masterpiece, filled with a myriad of hilarious and improbable events that make it a joyful ride from start to finish. The plot of the movie weaves together different storylines, making it intriguing and engaging.

This article focuses on unpacking the various components of the plot to give readers an in-depth understanding of the movie. The Script:

Big Trouble’s screenplay is based on the novel Big Trouble, written by Dave Barry.

Dave Barry co-wrote the screenplay with Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone. The novel and the screenplay are slightly different, primarily in terms of the characters.

The book introduces a more profound cultural commentary on South Florida’s diversity, where the movie instead focuses on the plot and character development.

The storytelling is masterful, with all the different characters’ stories fitting seamlessly together in a way that’s both compelling and hilarious.

The dialogue is witty and sharp, with some of the most memorable lines delivered by Tim Allen’s character, Pete.

The Multiple Storylines:

Big Trouble has its plot laid down in an unpredictable and disjointed way, with different storylines running parallel to one another until they eventually converge in a delightful and chaotic climax.

The storylines include:

Pete and Matt:

After divorcing his wife, Pete (Tim Allen) is trying to be a good father to his teenage son, Matt. This storyline provides the movie’s emotional core and gives viewers some heartwarming moments between father and son.

Arthur Herks Affair:

Arthur Herk (Stanley Tucci) is a businessman who’s having an affair with his wife’s best friend, Nina (Linda Hart). This storyline provides the motivation for the hitman to enter the picture and cause chaos.

Snake and Eddie’s Heist:

The movie’s two most incompetent criminals, Snake (Johnny Knoxville) and Eddie (Jack Kehler), attempt to rob a store to gather money to pay their debts. This storyline sets up the events that lead to the climax of the movie.

Henry’s Hit:

Henry Desalvo (Dennis Farina) is a hitman hired to kill Arthur Herk. Instead, he ends up getting caught up in the chaos unleashed by Snake and Eddie’s heist and the bomb that they carry.

The Snake Scare:

The tense moments that occur in the movie are caused by a snake in a bag that sets off a wave of panic throughout the city. All the storylines move independently at first, but as the movie progresses, the characters lives intersect with sometimes hilarious consequences.

The Climax:

The climax of Big Trouble sees all the different storylines converge in a scene of pure pandemonium. This scene is excellently executed, with scenes that happen in the background of the current scene coming to fruition and completing the storyline.

The climax is filled with gunfights, car chases, and a lot of explosives. Despite everything, it’s all done in a light-hearted and carefree manner, which puts the audience at ease, and left the viewer thrilled and entertained.


Big Trouble is a delightful comedy that packs a punch with an unpredictable and chaotic plot that leaves viewers laughing out loud. The movie’s different storylines and unique characters make it exciting to follow, and its climax delivers everything viewers could hope for.

With a witty dialogue, a cast of lovable misfits, and a perfect mix of comedy, action, and suspense, Big Trouble is a must-see for anyone looking for a good laugh. Big Trouble is an excellent comedy film that provides plenty of laughs, not just to the audience but also to the actors.

The movie boasts a talented cast of comedians, but it took much more than an excellent script and actors to make it happen. A movie’s production is crucial to ensure that the movie is entertaining, visually appealing, and successful.

In this article, we’ll delve into the making of Big Trouble, from the cast to the technical aspects of the production. The Cast:

Big Trouble boasts a talented ensemble cast, with each actor bringing their unique comedic style to the movie.

Tim Allen plays the lead role of Pete, who is struggling to bond with his son. Stanley Tucci embodies the role of Arthur Herk, a wealthy man whose action sets off the movie’s farcical events.

Rene Russo and Janeane Garofalo play the strong female characters – Anna Herk and Monica, respectively. Johnny Knoxville and Jack Kehler bring the humor as the bumbling thieves, Edward and Snake.

The Script:

The movie’s screenplay was adapted from Dave Barry’s novel by directors Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone, with Dave Barry consulting on the process. The movie stays fairly true to the novel while making some necessary changes to adapt it to the screen.

One notable change is the excision of a scene involving terrorists, which the filmmakers felt was too sensitive, considering that the movie was released a year after 9/11. The Director:

Big Trouble was helmed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who had made a name for himself with movies such as Men in Black and Get Shorty.

Sonnenfeld is known for his visually engaging movies, and Big Trouble is no exception. His ability to blend humor and suspense to create a thrilling yet irreverent movie makes him well-suited for the job.

The Cinematography:

The movie’s cinematography is notable for its use of vibrant colors and clever camera angles to heighten emotions. The sun-drenched Miami setting pops with visual energy, and the camera is always positioned in such a way as to maximize the comedic impact of a given scene.

Director of Photography, Greg Gardiner was responsible for filming the movie to create an aesthetically appealing movie that doesn’t detract from the comedic scenes. The Music:

Big Trouble’s soundtrack is a mix of different genres and styles, ranging from jazz to rock.

The music isn’t featured prominently in the movie, but it serves as an effective complement to the movie’s various scenes. John Powells score captures the energy and humor that pervades the movie, and his use of brass instruments gives the movie a lively and upbeat feeling.

The Visual Effects:

For a movie that’s not necessarily known for its special effects, Big Trouble features some impressively executed shots. The key to the visual effects of Big Trouble is that they never detract from the movie’s story or humor.

The movie’s most significant visual effect is the explosion that occurs at the end of the film, which is executed in a surprisingly lifelike and humorous fashion. Conclusion:

In conclusion, Big Trouble is a film that excels beyond its comedic elements, especially considering the high production value that went into it.

The director executed an exceptional job of bringing the script to life, the actors provided comedic acting that was necessary to pull of the humor in the film, and the technical aspects of the movie contributed to an all-around entertaining experience. All these efforts came together to create a movie that is visually striking, intelligent, and brimming with laughs.

Big Trouble, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, and Janeane Garofalo, premiered on April 2, 2002, in Los Angeles and had nationwide release two weeks later. Although it boasted a talented cast and crew, the movie faced some issues during its release, including delays, content changes, and unfortunate timing.

Release Date Delay:

The movie’s original release date was September 21, 2001; however, due to the 9/11 attacks, the release date was pushed back to 2002. This delay occurred because of the terrorism-related content that was seen as too sensitive for a post-9/11 release.

In particular, a scene involving a bomb was cut from the film, and other changes were made to tone down the terrorism motif’s significance in the plot. Marketing:

Perhaps due to the events leading up to its release, and the shift in the film’s content to avoid association with terrorism, Big Trouble did not receive significant marketing support.

The film’s advertising campaign was not extensive and appeared inconsistent, which did little to create buzz before its release. In addition, the national release date of April 5th was less than a month after the release of another comedy film National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, ” which may have contributed to competition for movie-goers’ attention.

Box Office Performance:

Due to the lack of marketing and and timing, the film underperformed in the box office, making just under $8.5 million in the U.S and $3.6 million internationally, for a total of $12.1 million in earnings worldwide. Its budget was around $40 million, making it a huge financial failure.

Critical Reception:

The movie attracted mixed reactions from the critics. While some critics found it witty, irreverent, and ironic, others thought the humor was too sophomoric and clichd.

The lukewarm critical reception, combined with the film’s limited marketing, likely led to its box office failure. Home Video Release:

Despite the film’s disappointing performance, Big Trouble went on to enjoy a cult following with the advent of home video.

The film’s DVD release garnered a substantial following, which appreciated the movie’s irreverent humor, plot, and talented cast. As a result, it has developed a cult following amongst fans of the genre.

Streaming Availability:

Big Trouble is now easily accessible to viewers via streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and iTunes. Conclusion:

Despite its critical and commercial disappointment during its initial release, Big Trouble remains a lighthearted comedy with plenty of laughs and an overarching fun storyline.

Unfortunately, circumstances beyond its control contributed to its poor performance in box office. However, the film has since become somewhat of a cult classic, with its availability on digital platforms providing modern viewers with the opportunity to discover the humor-filled film.

The soundtrack to Big Trouble, composed by John Powell, complements the movie’s various scenes and adds a lively energy to the action. The music oscillates between various styles and genres, highlighting the different characters’ motivations and emotions throughout the movie.

Opening Credits:

The movie’s opening credits are accompanied by a track called “Big Trouble,” which immediately sets the tone for the movie with its lively and energetic tune. The song primarily relies on brass and percussion instruments, setting the upbeat vibe of the film.

Background Music:

Powell’s score serves as the background music for many scenes throughout the movie. In the scene where Arthur Herk tries to purchase a plane illegally, the score’s suspenseful tone suggests what may happen next.

Another scene includes the slow-motion escape from the gate, featuring the characters diving for cover while the music adds a level of comedic hilarity. Pete and Matt:

The scenes where Pete is trying to bond with his son Matt are accompanied by an emotional and heartfelt tune that underscores the movie’s touching moments.

The music is soft and gentle, with simple arrangements featuring piano and guitar solos, conveying a warm, harmonious feeling that fits the father and son’s relationship. Henry Desalvo:

The character of Henry Desalvo, a hitman, is accompanied by a motif featuring a solemn bassoon, which generates a darker mood than most of the other characters in the film.

This dark tone trait is representative of the character’s edginess and highlights the dangerous cause for the chaos in the film. Final Chase:

The soundtrack’s closing song, “End Title,” captures the movie’s celebratory ending perfectly with a dynamic, energetic finale that leaves the audience feeling satisfied and entertained after the story’s quirky and light-hearted journey.

This fast-paced song, featuring intense brass and percussion sections, is perfect accompanying the high-speed car chase and bombing sequence. Soundtrack Reception:

The soundtrack album as a whole was released on April 2, 2002, and was generally embraced by the movie’s fans and critics.

Powell’s eclectic style and tonal variation throughout adds to the film’s entertainment factor. The soundtrack features a total of twenty-two tracks, including a number of instrumentals and solo pieces that provide a nice variety of different styles and moods.

Although it may not have received significant recognition as other blockbuster film soundtracks, it is still cherished as an essential component of the movie. Availability:

Big Trouble’s soundtrack is available for purchase and streaming on digital music platforms like Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Physical copies as part of the album are available on CD usually found on Amazon. Conclusion:

In conclusion, John Powell’s soundtrack for Big Trouble is a perfect complement to the film’s tone and mood.

The different songs and arrangements highlight the various emotions of each character and add to the film’s overall effect. Powell’s soundscape is highlighted by its dynamic and lively orchestration, delivering an enthusiastic and adventurous sound that perfectly complements the film’s farcical plot.

The soundtrack may have been less acclaimed than other blockbuster films, but it still holds enough of a power to attract fans and aficionados years after its release. In conclusion, Big Trouble is a movie that effectively combines comedy and action to entertain its audience.

The movie’s script, production, cast, and soundtrack come together to create a memorable experience. Although the film’s initial release was disappointing, it has since found a cult following on home video and digital platforms.

The movie’s irreverent humor, talented cast, and engaging plot make it worth watching for anyone looking for a good time.


Q: Who directed Big Trouble?

A: Big Trouble was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Q: Who stars in Big Trouble?

A: The cast includes Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, and Janeane Garofalo. Q: When was Big Trouble released?

A: Big Trouble premiered on April 2, 2002, in Los Angeles, and had a nationwide release two weeks later. Q: What is the soundtrack of Big Trouble like?

A: The soundtrack to Big Trouble, composed by John Powell, features eclectic styles and arrangements that complement the movie’s tone and mood. Q: Was Big Trouble successful at the box office?

A: Despite boasting a talented cast and crew, Big Trouble underperformed in the box office, earning roughly $12.1 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million. Q: Where can viewers watch Big Trouble?

A: Big Trouble is available for streaming on digital platforms like Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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