Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Critics Consensus: Brimming with energy and packed with humor, Big Trouble in Little China distills kung fu B-movies as affectionately as it subverts them.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Playing in a manner that can be conservatively described as larger than life, Kurt Russell plays a macho truck driver who agrees to go to the San Francisco airport and pick up his friend's (Dennis Dun) fiancee (Suzee Pai, freshly arrived from China. Suddenly, a gang of Chinatown toughs kidnap the girl right before Russell's eyes. After a wild chase sequence, Russell discovers that the girl has been abducted by a genuine, bonafide sorceror (James Hong), the ghost of a 3000 year old warlord. And that's just for starters. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Big Trouble in Little China
Special effects don't mean much unless we care about the characters who are surrounded by them, and in this movie the characters often seem to exist only to fill up the foregrounds.
Works as a stand alone classic that features John Carpenter at his best.
This is a bizarre, fun, action packed film, filled with wild characters and an adventurous, imaginative and campy spirit.
Benefits from a rollicking wise-ass performance from Kurt Russell but otherwise falls limp courtesy of too many corny gags.
A 'B'-movie-style Western meets Eastern, a supernatural 'chopsocky' fantasy with leading man Kurt Russell doing a feature-length impression of a dead movie star. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. [Blu-ray]
The high-octane action comedy takes all that was worthwhile from decades of B-flicks and distills it into a maximum-concentration explosion of cinematic TNT.
Imperfect, yes...but still great cultish fun with Kurt Russell.
Russell and Carpenter make a great team.
A wholly enjoyable mixture of action, comedy, romance, and horror.
Big rave in little blurb!
I really hated this.
Jack Burton is my guardo camino.
Loads of fun from the usually strained John Carpenter.
A misunderstood, underrated blast of a movie from genre king John Carpenter. As imaginitive and fun as anything he's done.
Kung fu, monsters, sorcery, 18-wheelers, swordfights and world-saving heroics against impossible odds: What more could you want?
Campy as heck but a lot of fun, too.
A inspired and slightly unhinged homage to grindhouse B-moviemaking.
The film is probably best characterized by a comment from a review quoted in the DVD commentary by Kurt Russell: 'Absolutely fabulous and terminally hip.'
Audience Reviews for Big Trouble in Little China
John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China is a top notch action comedy with some intense action, great performances, a fun and entertaining story and effective direction. Kurt Russell delivers yet another great performance here. The film has a highly entertaining premise, one that delivers for midnight movie fans. If you enjoy Carpenter's work, Big Trouble in Little China is a no brainer. The mix of action and comedy is well done, and John Carpenter manages to make yet another strong picture. This is a well made film, one that is sure to delight action fans looking for that pure 1980's flavor that period films had. In terms of story, the film has a well thought out script, and this is among one of Carpenter's finer films outside the horror genre. Upon its initial release, the film had a hard time finding an audience, and I think that's a great shame because, for me, John Carpenter is among my favorite directors, and with Big Trouble in Little China, he made an ambitious picture, on e that definitely captured key genre elements into one film to create an engrossing film, one that deserves much more praise. Than what it first garnered. Big Trouble in Little China may not be Carpenter's strongest directorial effort, but it's far from the worst. I really loved the film, and if you enjoy a fun, thrilling action packed film that is cheesy as much as it is eccentric, then this film is a must watch. Big Trouble in Little China is a film that is ambitious in scope, and it's one of Carpenter's most exhilarating works in the action genre. However, I still believe that Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape from New York are his finest action films. Still, for an effective popcorn thrill ride, Big Trouble in Little China delivers.More
A highly entertaining B movie from the 1980's. Not the greatest film John Carpenter has ever done, but it's still pretty fun. This movie has everything: sci-fi, kung-fu, fantasy, action, romance, comedy, and of course, Kurt Russell. This is a great flick to watch while chowing down on some popcorn and drinking a beer.
The plot is wacky and all over the place, and trying to describe it would make it sound dumb, but I think that's part of the charm. It's is goofy, but in the best way possible, The film is purposefully larger than life, and isn't mean to be taken too seriously.
If you want to have a good time, then look this one up.
Big Trouble in Little China is focused on a colorful cast of characters. Where else can you go toe to toe with a villain that will blind you by staring into his glowing eyes or the energy blasts from his mouth? Those powers are embodied in evil sorcerer Lo Pan memorably played by James Hong. He's flanked by The Three Storms (Rain, Thunder and Lightning) lesser sorcerers who look like they're wearing huge lamp shades on their heads. Their first appearance is a wonderful showdown that combines two warring gangs: the Wing Kong, commanded by Lo Pan and the Chang Sings (the "good" guys). I've never seen or heard so many thunderclaps and animated lightning bolts discharging from people's hands. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention those bizarre creatures. Words cannot accurately describe one I'll simply call the Floating Eyeball Monster. It must be seen to be truly appreciated. At times the narrative is a bit disjointed and difficult to follow. But in the end, none of that really matters because this is a picture that aims to simply entertain and largely succeeds. The tone is goofily tongue in cheek with many laughs sprinkled throughout sensational action sequences. I think the film's purpose is best encapsulated in this exchange:More
Big Trouble in Little China Quotes
- Jack Burton:
- When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye, and asks you if you paid your dues; you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail.'
- Jack Burton:
- You just listen to the old Pork Chop Express here now and take his advice on a dark and stormy night when the lightning's crashin' and the thunder's rollin' and the rain's coming down in sheets thick as lead. Just remember what old Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right square in the eye and he says, 'Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.'
- Egg Shen:
- Only a dream can kill a dream.
- Jack Burton:
- Well, you see I'm not saying that I've been everywhere and I done everything. But I do know it's a pretty amazing planet we live on here, and a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we're all alone in this universe.
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