Briefly, a group of people are sealed into a Bio-Dome which is supposed to be a miniature self-sufficient ecology, sealed off from the outside world. One of these people is played by Pauly Shore. Hilarity Ensues.
In more detail: Bud Macintosh (Shore) and Doyle Johnson (Stephen Baldwin) are your average slackers, neither particularly bright, nor particularly attractive. Somehow they managed to get hot girlfriends, Monique and Jen (played respectively by Joey Lauren Adams and Teresa Hill). The two girls are very interested in environmental efforts and quite fed-up with the two slackers' indifference towards it.
While traveling in the Arizona desert, our not-too-bright duo discover the Bio-Dome. A group of scientists is about to be sealed inside for a year for research purposes. The duo decides it is a new mall and enters just before the building is sealed. Now the scientists have to endure the many ways the duo are destroying the environment within the Dome, while the lady scientists have just met their new stalkers. Not that the guys want to cheat on their girlfriends, they act as if flirting with any attractive woman is obligatory. Sleeping with her is not. Among the few actually named scientists are the project lead Dr. Noah Faulkner (William Atherton) and Dr. Petra von Kant (Kylie Minogue).
Tropes Used in This Movie:
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: See Very Loosely Based on a True Story below.
- Big Eater: Bud and Doyle.
- Black Comedy Rape: When the two try to make out with the two female scientists in their sleep without their consent before getting thrown out. This sequence is Played for Laughs.
- But Not Too Bi: Bud and Doyle are supposedly bisexual, even though they never hit on any male character save for a brief moment with each other. Which would be assuming that they weren't going for cheap laughs.
- Chaotic Stupid: Guess who.
- The Ditz: Both of the main characters.
- Disappeared Dad:Mimi Simkins: Where did you come from?
Doyle: My mom and the authorities are still trying to figure that out.
- Earth Song: Tenacious D cameos as musicians singing a tree-hugging song at an Earth Day environmentalist rally.
- Erotic Eating: The way Petra eats a carrot in front of Bud.Bud: What's up, Doc?
- Flashback Cut: The scene mentioned in Hilariously Abusive Childhood below.
- Green Aesop: A relatively subtle and intelligent one.
- Hero Antagonist: Dr. Faulkner only wants to preserve the stability of the project that the two leads keep messing up.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Bud and Doyle try hitting on Petra.
- Hot Scientist:
- Dr. Petra von Kant.
- Mimi Simkins ain't too bad either.
- Here We Go Again!: After spending a whole year inside the bio-dome, Bud and Doyle reconcile with Monique and Jen and drive off. When Doyle once again needs to use the bathroom, the four drive into a nuclear power plant.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: In one flashback, Doyle's mom is seen drowning Bud to teach them how to hold their breath for several minutes at a time. Probably explains why they act like they're brain damaged.
- Idiot Houdini: Both Bud and Doyle.
- Jerkass: Again, Bud and Doyle being a duo of Insufferable Imbeciles.
- This seems to follow Bud and Doyle wherever they go, for none of their transgressions against anyone are brought to any justice.
- Monique's stepdad.
- Loud of War: Subverted when the police try to get the protagonists out of the dome by blasting Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance". It doesn't work; it just means they have a rhythm as they fix the place up.
- In a Shout-Out to the music video, it also causes a dancing midget to suddenly show up...
- The '90s: Embarrassingly so. The fashion, the "loveable stoner slacker", the attitude towards women, the Totally Radical dialogue...
- Panty Shot: When his girlfriend squats down to help Pauly Shore's character after he's been hit by the encyclopedia. It's so obvious it's almost definitely intended as Fanservice.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: They break into the bio-dome, mess about with the scientist attempts at research, destroy the bio-dome itself and with it any attempt at gaining scientific insight by letting others inside after being told they couldn't leave for just such a reason, the sexual abuse of the two female scientists...and we're supposed to root for them because they feel bad about it.
- Random Events Plot: Takes up most of the movie, which pretty much stems from entering the Biodome onwards.
- Sanity Slippage: Faulkner even grows a beard to show this happened to him after going missing.
- Shout-Out: Kylie Minogue's character is named after the film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
- Stoner Flick
- Swallow the Key: Doyle does this, swallowing the key to the biodome in order to keep the project going.
- Totally Radical: The main characters, again. After all, this is set in The '90s. Even for the 90's, it was way over the top and unbelievable.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Several experiments were done with self sustained ecologies, including one in Arizona called Biosphere 2, but that's about it.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Eventually Faulkner does try to kill them.