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Brimming with energy and packed with humor, Big Trouble in Little China distills kung fu B-movies as affectionately as it subverts them.
All Critics (41)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (32)
| Rotten (9)
| DVD (19)
An upscale send-up.
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.
Just out of control.
I knew we would have fun talking about it, but this movie was so crazy it almost feels unfair...it's so out of pocket.
A startlingly joyous revisionist Western.
Violent 1980s martial-arts movie is a campy guilty pleasure.
Contains the single drop-dead funniest moment in all of Carpenter's filmography.
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 film to embody the Eighties, and justify them
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]
Big Trouble In Little China is a film where our perceived hero Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) isn't really heroic at all. He's actually a buffoon that's pulled into an extraordinary situation with Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) being the true hero of the film. Jack acts like he knows what he's doing, but he's as clueless as anyone thrown into this situation, making a refreshing look from this fantasy/karate hybrid.
The film opens with Jack accompanying his friend Wang to the airport to pick up Wang's love of his life. In the hectic arrival of a loaded airplane, she is kidnapped and after running into Gracie (Kim Catrall), who has some kind of involvement in the situation, Jack and Wang travel to Chinatown in an attempt to save his love, but stumble onto an otherworldly fight by Lao Pan (James Hong) to use the green eyed girl to restore his flesh. A mishmash of kung fu and fantasy follows as they attempt to stop Lao Pan's misuse of Wang's lady.
Big Trouble is a fun movie to watch. The film has a great flow to it, even though when examining just the plot itself leaves a kind of clunky feel as you run it through your head. John Carpenter smooths over the rough edges by giving us great visuals (even by today's standards) and very nice acting work, particularly from Russell. As I said before, Jack Burton is not the hero of this film. He's more of a loud mouth that is lost in this underworld of Chinatown and it's a wonderful look at how the presumed hero may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. It really is a great performance from Russell, cementing his trilogy of John Carpenter films.
After revisiting this film a thought occurred to me. With all of the movies that are making a return after being defunct for 30+ years Big Trouble in Little China is a film that I see that could succeed by doing something like this. After 30 years I was still left wanting more from this story and these characters. This is one of these films that makes its own kind of definition and really makes a good impression on a viewer. A fine '80's ditty.
Tonally different from anything John Carpenter has ever done, "Big Trouble in Little China" follows Dennis (Kurt Russell) on a wild goose chase to find a friends fiancee after she's been kidnapped. Once realizing that the kidnapper's have more to them than meets the eye, this picture becomes bizarrely original. The main plot may have been a little tired to begin with, but once everything kicks into high gear, it is a genuine blast. Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall are the two standouts here as they drive this film into another level of fun. With a sweet undertone and some downright creepy and awesome sequences, this is not a film to miss. In the end, there are some slow moments that I felt could have been trimmed down, but aside from that, it is a great film. "Big Trouble in Little China" is a rare treat.
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.
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