Big Trouble in Little China, created by John Carpenter: a Film Review


Jack Burton is the all-American truck driver.  Big, burly, and rough around the edges.  When he arrives in Chinatown, San Francisco it seems like a normal trip.  He plays cards with his friend Wang Chi winning a huge bet against him.  In order to make sure he pays up; Jack decides to accompany him to the airport to pick up Wang’s childhood sweetheart turned fiancée who is on her way from China for their wedding.

As Miao Yin steps off the plane a Chinese street gang and sex traffickers called the Lords of Death attempt to kidnap a different girl but are thwarted by Jack Burton and her friend Gracie Law.  When this happens the gang instead grabs Miao Yin making off with her.  Jack and Wang follow in pursuit hoping to simply grab her back from the gang.

But when the duo stumbles into a gang fight and ends up facing down “The Three Storms”-a trio of ancient warriors with magical powers to control thunder, rain, and lightening- rescuing Miao Yin may not be as easy as the thought.  Especially not when the mysterious underground societies of magic that rumble beneath the Chinatown Jack knows and loves rear their ugly heads.

General Information:

-Genre: Fantasy Martial Arts Action Comedy

-Creator: John Carpenter

-Length: 99 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sexual innuendos and jokes, moderate fantasy and martial arts violence and gore, moderate profanity, mild use of alcohol and smoking, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kurt Russell, Kin Cattrall, Dennis Dun

-Page of Reference in RP1: 292

Review (contains spoilers):

This movie has no business being as good as it is.  It’s a martial arts fantasy action movie…about an ancient guy who needs a special green-eyed woman to marry in order to break the curse he is under.

It is ridiculous, over the top and atrociously cheesy but absolutely fantastic.

And I don’t know why!

There is nothing particularly great about any one part of this movie.  The effects are exactly what you would expect from a 1980s film.  Its kind of a traditional old school kung fu kind of movie.  Kurt Russel is…well….Kurt Russel.  The storyline is absurd.

But it all works.  I’m so glad that I finally sat down and watched this one.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.