A novel by Dave Barry. Set inMiami, the novel satirizes the Crime and Punishment genre in fiction. While the novel starts out as a Slice of Life look into the daily business of various quirky characters, things soon take a turn for drama with the introduction of Russian arms dealers and a suitcase nuke.The book was turned into a movie in 2001, but the release was delayed almost a year because of the events of September 11th and the film plot dealing with hoodlums hijacking a plane. The Movie stars Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Tom Sizemore, Johnny Knoxville, Dennis Farina, Janeane Garofalo, Patrick Warburton, Zooey Deschanel, and Ben Foster. Also features memorable appearances by Omar Epps, Jason Lee, and Andy Richter.Not to be confused with Big Trouble in Little China.
Provides examples of:
Actor Allusion: While watching the events unfold in the Hurk residence, Henry at one point refers to Snake and Eddie as 'Moron Number One' and 'Moron Number Two'. The gangster played by Denis Farina in Midnight Run also used these exact terms to refer to two of his employees.
Likely done because Mood Whiplash on such a grand scale probably doesn't translate well to the screen. The book is a rapid-fire comedy that suddenly turns dark and disturbing for bits near the end before going right back to comedy. The movie just goes with comedy all the way.
Cardboard Prison: The contractor for a prison security system is better at bribing public officials than at designing prison doors that don't open automatically during a severe thunderstorm. The contractor is also good at finding scapegoats for massive prison breaks.
"It's a garbage disposal." The film continues to run with this by using exclusively point-of-view shots looking up at the people examining it... until the scene where it's finally opened and accidentally armed at the airport. It's painfully obvious (to everyone but the characters) that it's a miniature warhead with a timer attached.
Mood Whiplash: After Snake takes several main characters hostage, their plight is suddenly played completely straight and gets pretty disturbing when he starts threatening rape. These threats don't happen in The Movie.
Our Product Sucks: Played with. One character's in advertising and designs a logo for a beer company called Hammerhead. He puts a picture of a Hammerhead with a caption saying, "Ugly Fish. Good Beer." (In The Movie, this was changed to an eel.) The client hates it, and the ad changes to a more traditional beer commercial with models.
Phony Veteran: Snake and Eddie, for brief and unsuccessful busking.
Police Are Useless: Or at least Officer Walter Kramitz is (in the movie more than the book).
The Annoyed Radio Host and the Gator Fan will be speaking anytime the radio turns on.
Elliot drives a Geo. And it will be noted/mocked constantly.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A couple are driving by arguing on whether or not they should move away from Florida. Then they encounter Kramitz and Herk chained to an entertainment center, Kramitz yelling at Herk that his dog is not Elizabeth Dole, nor does she want to eat his soul.
After suffering a number of indignities and idiots in their time in Florida, the last straw comes for the two hitmen when, stuck in a traffic jam listening to two morons have a never-ending back-and-forth argument on the radio about the Gators, a goat walks past their car.
Sex for Product: Elliot and his ad for Hammerhead turns into this. "You have a guy in a boat with a girl, she's in a bikini, she has big tits, they're on a boat, and they're getting hammered! With Hammerhead! The feeling of this ad is, somebody's gonna get laid! In the background swimming around is a shark! The girl has REALLY big tits!" Poorly photoshopped-in really big tits, as it turns out, not that the client can tell.
The Shelf of Movie Languishment: The film was set to open on September 21st, 2001 and had all of its prints ready for shipment when 9/11 happened. Disney then delayed the film seven months and quietly dumped it by the time the film was released.
Too Dumb to Live: The two thieves are told to turn on their "garbage disposal" at airport security and promptly do so. It never dawns on them that they just activated a time bomb. It's even more blatant in the movie, where the countdown starts before they even close the lid.
Too Soon: The long-delayed movie as explained above. Unfortunately, the events that followed 9/11 also ensured that by the time it wasn't Too Soon, it was Too Late — airport security now has the exact opposite problem as the ones in the story, and the FBI wouldn't have to invoke obscure and possibly-phony executive orders now that the Patriot Act exists.