Kurt Russell is great. And John Carpenter is pretty good too. And when those two collaborate it makes for some great films such as ‘The Thing‘, ‘Escape from New York‘ and now ‘Big Trouble in Little China‘. It’s a weird and wacky film that’s fun and pretty cool, and it might just be one of their best films.
The film is about as 80’s and as wacky as films can get. Russell is Jack Burton, a truck driver drawn into the mysterious and mystical underworld of Chinatown when he agrees to help his friend’s fiancée from an ancient sorcerer who wishes to marry her to release him from an ages old curse. It’s really rather random when you stop and think about it. But this film gives you little time to stop, taking you from one crazy fight scene to the next. And while the whole cast is great, Russell is on another level here. He’s really on top form here, quipping his way through situations that leave him way out of his death. His reactions to some of the magic and weird creatures are hilarious.
Kim Cattrall and Dennis Dun do great jobs as Russell’s partners in crime, but Victor Wong as good magician Egg Shen and James Hong as the evil David Lo Pan literally leap of the screen they are so eccentric and great. And then there’s the special effects. For an 80’s film, it looks pretty good. There’s lightning bolts and magic beams and all sorts. And then there’s the practical effects, which include weird monsters and beasts. It all looks pretty great and just adds to that sense of mystical strangeness.
But really the best thing about this film in my eyes is Russell’s performance. He’s so good, so average Joe and so wild eyed when he goes into the underground world of Chinatown’s magic order. He’s just an ordinary guy who finds himself in the most extraordinary situation: battling an ancient sorcerer for custody of his friend’s soon to be wife. He’s got some great one liners, some great action scenes and some even better jokes. Honestly, this is one of my favourite Kurt Russell performances. That is probably helped by his relationship with director John Carpenter, who really lets his wild side out as a creative.
‘Big Trouble in Little China‘ might not be the most straightforward film, and it definitely isn’t the most normal film, but it is a great film. Magical, fun, strange and exciting. It’s got great performances, great action and for the type of film it is it has some really great jokes and laughs. It may be reportedly getting a remake featuring the Rock, but this one will always be the best.
JACK’S SCORE: 5/5