REVIEWED
6/6/03

STORY



LOOK

Big Trouble In Little China
Director: John Carpenter
Year: 1986
TRT: 1:39


This is such a cheezy fuckin b-movie, you can't help but not like it. John Carpenter's attempt at a Chinese lore/kung-fu movie doesn't exactly fire on all cylinders, but it's definitely amusing to watch. I gotta say while most of the actors play it tongue-in-cheek, one of the women from Sex in the City (Kim Cattrall) is so obnoxiously bad it makes the film that much funnier. Can't say anything for the HBO gig (never watched it, can't stand that lead chick for one [and plenty of other reasons I'm sure if I took the time to sit down and watch it, but then again, I don't contemplate gouging out my own eyes with an icepick for very long either]). Regardless, the Cattrall woman is painfully awful in this. Not exactly Kurt Russell's best either, but it makes for a fun ride.

Jack Burton, truck driver extraordinaire, rolls on through the night spouting his words of wisdom via CB to whoever happens to be listening to the Pork-chop Express rambler. His most recent delivery takes him to Chinatown, where he ends up drinking and gambling the night away with his old friend Wang Chi. But an unexpected side-trip lands Jack in a strange new world of ancient Chinese legends, magick, and danger, wisecracking his way through it all.

Alright, so it's a guilty pleasure to watch a movie like this. If nothing else, Carpenter creates yet another memorable character for MacReady, er, Snake Pliskin, uh, I mean Kurt Russell. The effects and sets run the gamut from good to hokey (really, what do you expect here, look at the plot. Definitely a thumbs up, though, on the pre-CG'd Beholder thing that has a bunch of eyes, it is very well done and integrated).

Great Scene: After drinking a potion of apparent invulnerability, Jack inadvertently takes himself out of the fight for a bit. The set-up is funny in itself, if not a bit overplayed, but makes the film what it is...

DVD Notes: The "regular" version is an inexpensive disc put out by 20th Century Fox that includes the Standard and Widescreen format of the film, plus commentary with Carpenter and Russell, which is again very amusing while they reminisce about the movie and talk about their lives and careers since filming, without being afraid of taking jabs at their own stuff, either. They knew what they were getting into, had a lot of fun doing it, and it shows in the movie.