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BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986)
Along the way to the airport to help his friend Wang Chi pick up his fiancée, trucker Jack Burton gets unexpectedly pulled into a "supernatural" conflict of good and evil, with Wang Chi’s fiancée's emerald eyes as the coveted commodity for the evil sorcerer Lo Pan. In an attempt to reclaim his truck, and save Wang Chi and his fiancée from Lo Pan and his goons, Burton does his best do combat an immortal, invisible sorcerer.
Director John Carpenter's BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, is an under appreciated, but highly entertaining fantasy/action flick.
Promotional Lines: "Try to find big reason
before you visit world of magic..."
John Carpenter's 'Big Trouble in the Little China' is described as a tongue in cheek film where "eastern martial arts mysticism meets John Wayne bravado." It is an entertaining parody of rescue adventure movies with an eastern, mystical twist.
The basic story involves a big mouth trucker, Jack Burton (Kurt Russell), who becomes involved with various rescue efforts, complicated by situations under the influence of black magic and elements of Chinese legend in San Francisco's Chinatown, when he joins the effort to save Wang's girlfriend from the clutches of a cursed, Chinese magician, Lo Pan, who is an "ancient embodiment of evil," who is stuck in the spirit world until he marries a green-eyed girl. If Lo Pan is successful, he will become human again, with is a scary thought.
After Wang's girl friend from China, the lovely Miao Yin (Suzee Pai), is kidnapped at the airport, Jack and Wang (Dennis Dunn) give chase through Chinatown, but are stopped, when they wind up in the middle of Chinese gang fight, where they meet three black magic empowered ninja fighters (Carter Wong, Peter Kwong, and James Pax) who serve Lo Pan (James Hong). Their supernatural adventure had just begun., and what a wild ride are they in for, that will test their manly courage, and their resolve to defeat evil, and rescue the innocent.
Moments, with action and/or humor are many and the entire cast hit it right on the mark. My favorite scene involves Russell and Dennis Dun. As Dun battles bad guys, Russell struggles to get his knife out of his boot. By the time it's free, the fight is over, Dun having dispatched all the bad guys. All Russell can do is smile and shrug.
The good guy posse, on their final rescue mission, must now rescue both Tracy Law, Burton's love interest (Kim Cattrall) and Miao Yin, and is led by the good magician; wise, old Egg Shen, played by Victor Wong (III), who knows how to defeat Lo Pan and his evil side kicks, with the help of a magic potion, that will enhance their abilities.
The special effects and Kung Fu fights are original and are well done. I liked to watch the three evil side kicks do their stuff, at various points in the story. The sound effects and facial expressions that go along with the moves are entertaining as well.
This film is considered by some to be John Carpenter's
finest effort. His style of cynical humor and taste works well
with the script, and his direction of the cast produced this
zany action adventure, that on one hand doesn't take itself
too seriously, but on the other hand everyone keeps a straight
face, no matter how hilarious things get.
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA failed to connect with a theatrical audience. It did quite well in home video, however, and was one of the first films with a modest box office success to score big with the video rental crowd.