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more trailers Big Trouble in Little China

Still of Kim Cattrall, Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun and Suzee Pai in Big Trouble in Little ChinaL-R Sitting, Kurt Russell, three extras, Standing, Paul J.Q. Lee, Sitting,

Plot
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 7.1/10 (46,657 voted)

Director: John Carpenter

Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun

Storyline
While kung fu warriors and otherworldly spirits battle over the fate of two women, Russell's swaggering idiot manages to knock himself out or underestimate the forces he's dealing with. Jack Burton, a tough-talking, wisecracking truck driver whose hum-drum life on the road takes a sudden supernatural tailspin when his best friend's fiancee is kidnapped. Speeding to the rescue, Jack finds himself deep beneath San Francisco's Chinatown, in a murky, creature-filled world ruled by Lo Pan, a 2000-year-old magician who mercilessly presides over an empire of spirits. Dodging demons and facing baffling terrors, Jack battles his way through Lo Pan's dark domain in a full-throttle, action-riddled ride to rescue the girl.

Writers: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein

Cast:
Kurt Russell - Jack Burton
Kim Cattrall - Gracie Law
Dennis Dun - Wang Chi
James Hong - David Lo Pan
Victor Wong - Egg Shen
Kate Burton - Margo
Donald Li - Eddie Lee
Carter Wong - Thunder
Peter Kwong - Rain
James Pax - Lightning
Suzee Pai - Miao Yin
Chao Li Chi - Uncle Chu
Jeff Imada - Needles
Rummel Mor - Joe Lucky
Craig Ng - One Ear

Taglines: Some people pick the darnedest places to start a fight!



Details

Official Website: JohnCarpenter - movie site |

Release Date: 2 July 1986

Filming Locations: Conzelman Road, Marin Headlands, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,723,211 (USA) (6 July 1986) (1053 Screens)

Gross: $11,100,000 (USA)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Kurt Russell confessed on the DVD commentary that he was afraid of starring in the movie because he had made a string of movies that flopped at the box office. When he asked John Carpenter about it, he told Kurt that it didn't matter to him - he just wanted to make the movie with him.

Goofs:
Continuity: In the first fight scene in the alleyway that Jack and Wang witness, the same stuntman can be seen charging, fighting, and indeed being KO'd alternately dressed as a Chang Sing, or Wing Kong.

Quotes:
[first lines]
Pinstripe lawyer: What I'd like to do today is get your version of what happened.
Egg Shen: Oh, you mean the truth.
Pinstripe lawyer: Of course. First, just state your name and your occupation for the record.
Egg Shen: Oh, Egg Shen. Bus driver.



User Review

Do you believe in magic?

Rating:

Despite his recent slide into mediocrity, John Carpenter is responsible for what could be termed some of the biggest cult movies of the 1980's. Following his resounding success with Halloween he went on to direct a number of quirky yet excellent movies that began to tail of toward the end of the 80's with the release of such dross as Prince of Darkness. Carpenters movies are probably some of the most under appreciated pictures of recent cinema history on a commercial level, and none more so than perhaps one of his finest, the delightfully absurd action movie Big Trouble in Little China.

The plot is as daft as they come. Loud mouthed truck driver Jack Burton (played by Carpenter's long time collaborator Kurt Russell) arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown where he agrees to help out old friend Wang (played by Denis Dun) by driving him to the airport to pick up his green eyed fiancé. Things quickly go south however when a band of street punks kidnap the girl and the motley duo set off in pursuit. The pair soon find themselves caught in the middle of gang war that takes on a decidedly mythical bent and are forced to flee while Jack's truck is stolen. All this occurs within the first fifteen to twenty minutes.

If there's one thing you can say about Big Trouble, it's that it's action packed. The plot (such as it is) moves at an incredible pace and the film rarely slows to take breath as it rolls from one action set piece to the next. In such movies, normally the dialogue, and subsequently the acting suffer from a lack of any real attention. Not so here. Carpenter balances everything so perfectly that it's a wonder his career took such a slide. Although the actual story may be incredibly absurd and at times suffers from some rather obvious gaps of logic, the dialogue never fails to sparkle. Russell gives his very best wise ass shtick as Burton, the confused have a go hero who's so out of his depth he should really be fish bait, while Dun excels with a character who is consistently more heroic and capable than the lead. Another wonderful turn comes from an appearance by a young Kim Cattrall (of Sex and the City fame) as Gracie Law, a downmarket lawyer with an ability to talk at incredible speed. Some of the scenes between these three are pure comic genius, as Dun and Cattrall rattle out plot information at a rapid staccato pace while an increasingly bewildered Russell tries desperately to keep up.

Despite such positive remarks, Big Trouble was perhaps one of Carpenter's biggest commercial flops. While many of the movie's fans find this difficult to understand I do not. The reason for its failure is really incredibly simple. In terms of its style and the underlying comedy behind the piece, Carpenter's loving part tribute, part send up of all things Kung Fu was way ahead of the curve in every important respect. Take the relationship between our 'hero' Jack and his 'sidekick' Wang. The true dynamic of this relationship is a wonderfully post modern slant on the cliché buddy dynamic that existed in the 80's and it was done long before post modernist humour became truly fashionable in films (the most obvious example of post modern piece of cinema being Scream). Despite receiving star billing, Russell's Jack is actually a sidekick to Wang. While Wang has the knowledge, the skill and the courage to make him a true classic hero figure, Jack lags behind, being brash, ignorant and of little actual use in a fight. Similarly the action, although remarkably quaint by today's standards in both its look and execution, is a surprisingly accurate foreshadow of the current Hollywood move toward the more graceful, balletic chaos exhibited by movies like The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Ultimately Big Trouble in Little China is a movie that survived thanks to the home video market and for that we can only be grateful. While its looks may have aged, its sense of humour and style is as fresh today as the day it first rolled out in cinemas. In short, it's pure escapist magic.









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