I was upstairs at the time, earlier today, when I heard a loud honking on the TV downstairs. Admittedly, Im a movie freak, and that specific horn sounded familiar. I listened for a bit longer before realizing my little sister had put on Big Trouble in Little China. Im in.
Jack Burton is a simple man. He drives his truck, the Porkchop Express, chats away on the CB, whether or not someones listening, and doesnt think of much else. His delivery takes him to Chinatown where he meets up with his friend Wang to do a little gambling and drinking. With Wang owing him a great deal of money, he decides not to let him out of his sight and goes with to pick up Wangs fiancé Miao Yin, flying in from China.
And this is where pretty much everything goes wrong. Miao Yin and her rare green eyes gets kidnapped, Jack and Wang find themselves in the middle of a Chinese old school gang war, Jacks truck gets stolen, and worst of all, a cursed man known as Lo Pan makes his appearance; super tall and with light coming out of his eyes and mouth. It seems hes the one behind Miao Yins disappearance (the second time) he needs a girl with green eyes to break his curse of no flesh. Jack finds himself up to his eyeballs in ancient Chinese magic, the good and dark kind, and hes all for helping, but geez, he just wants his truck back.
Theres a lot going on in this movie, so youd best pay attention or youll just end up like Jack, saying, What the hell is going on? all the time. Its mostly just whos kidnapping who and why. It takes a while to get the full story, but dont worry, youll get it. When I was a kid I never quite understood I just knew it was hella fun to watch.
Kurt Russell I love this man. Haha. He may not be in Oscar winning movies, but I love to watch him all the same. He does a great job as the aloof Jack Burton, swaggering, knife-toting, sounding a little like an up-to-date John Wayne, and in general, not exactly the type youd expect to be the hero of the movie. Actually that was the point for him to be totally out of place and looking like a doofus half the time in a world hes in no way familiar with. Wang, played by James Hong, is a cute guy with his single-minded purpose of getting the love of his life back. I love some of the lines in this movie and how Wang occasionally screws with Jack. James Hong made a great Lo Pan hes always done such a good job in the role of a bad guy and this one is definitely my favorite. Floating around and going through walls dressed in an elaborate garb with a white face and long nails. Or when hes not doing that hes a little old basket case on wheels, as Jack called him. Stuck in an old mans body. Then theres the spunky Gracie Law, performed by the woman we all now know as Samantha Jones of Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall. A good mix for the role fiery, sexy, strong-willed, and always rejecting Jack. Sounds a little like Samantha already.
Of course, everyone did a fine job (cant forget Victor Wong as Egg Shen!) and they had all kinds of costumes, unorthodox props, and crazy sets to go with it. Who knew all that weird stuff was underneath Chinatown? The special effects arent half bad either. Its 1986 here folks, so give em a break. That and Im sure the budget wasnt ridiculously huge. The character Lightening of the three storms always traveling around on lightening, that was pretty good maybe he could have rivaled Rayden. There are going to be a few things that make you think, Oh goodness that was lame, but youre too amused to really care and besides, this isnt the sort of movie you can put down for lameness, trust me.
I dont often mention extras for the simple fact that A.) people dont buy DVDs for the special features and B.) often there arent any worthy to mention. I also dont often (okay, ever) listen to director commentaries, but Kurt Russell lent his time, so I decided to hear what he and John Carpenter had to say. Theyre looking back on this after so many years, so theyre basically enjoying it as much as the rest of us. The commentary is pretty fun too, especially since Kurt hasnt seen this in forever and the two of them are laughing about 80% of the time. You get to know tidbits about the movie; Kurt was sick during this scene, James Hong really got into his character here, where some of the actors are now, etc. It also helps give the movie a little perspective since you find out what the directors main goal was. It was interesting. Give it a try.
Its a good movie, yes it has a plot and isnt just silliness all the way through, no its not going to make you look closely and dissect the characters since its not that type. Plenty of martial arts, fantastic elements, and a good time every step of the way. Just trust me on this. Like the boys said in the commentary, people either love or hate the movie. Im one of the former and I hope that you are too.
P.S. The guy singing at the end during the credits thats Carpenter.
Viewing Format: DVD
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