Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Director: John Carpenter


John Carpenter is usually associated with sci-fi or horror films, which makes this dark comedy even funnier. When I describe this movie to friends, I usually tell them it’s part old kung fu movie, part three stooges, and part old western, John Wayne western. Kurt Russells’ comic timing in this movie is top notch. He is a very believable version of a white guy going into Chinatown and seeing Chinese black magic for the first time. I also love the physical comedy, most of it provided by Russell in his attempt to be a hero. This movie should be seen by everyone!


Big Trouble in Little China is one of those movies I watch at least a couple of times a year. It is the perfect mixture of kung fu, Chinese black magic, monsters, and pure silliness. Kurt Russell is hilarious as Jack Burton, he’s over the top and cheesy which is perfect for this movie. Jack Burton likes to narrate his own life and constantly refers to himself in the third person. Jack and his buddy, Wang Chi, go to the airport to pick up Wangs’ girlfriend, Miao Yin, who is arriving from China. Just as Miao Yin Comes into sight the Lords of Death, a Chinese street gang, kidnap her. Jack and Wang chase after the thugs but can’t catch up with them. This is where the real adventure begins, Jack and Wang must find the girl. The boys run into trouble when they turn down an alley just in time to see a funeral, followed by a gang fight. Suddenly three magical kung fu masters appear one by one, and start slaughtering the two gangs. Jack and Wang decide that it’s time to leave, so Jack puts his 18-wheeler into gear and takes off down the alley. They get past the three masters and think they might actually make it out alive. That is until they see an 8 foot tall Chinese man standing right in their path beckoning them to come forward. The rest of the story won’t be given away here, but needless to say there is a ton of action, magic and kung fu.



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