Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Rating: 15
Length: 1hr 39
Release: 14.11.1986
Dir: John Carpenter
About: Jack Burton, a truck driver, gets dragged into the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown where he faces an ancient sorcerer named Lo Pan.


The Good

  • It has all the feel and adventure of other 80s movies. It fits well with Goonies, Gremlins and Princess Bride.
  • The casting is solid. Kurt Russell is well placed and so are others. Despite the complication of who is the hero of this movie, Russell is able to present Jack as a decent everyman.
  • The final act really does bring its A game. If the first two acts brought as much balance to the action and exposition, I may have enjoyed it more.

The Bad

  • The opening act feels a little too busy to hook in an audience. All very convoluted and missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s all rather choppy and hard to follow.
  • There are way too many characters that are introduced that have very little, to no impact upon the film’s narrative. Which would be okay, if it wasn’t for the fact that so much time is spent introducing them; the reporter being one of them.

The Ugly

  • The plot felt lifeless and I felt as if the story had been edited to refocus on Jack, when in fact Wang Chi or Egg Shen is the hero. It makes for a slight disconnect to the characters and the events that unfold.
  • The creature effects are dodgy as!

Final Thoughts

This is a film that I should love, I want to love it. I just can’t. It feels too taxing to be enjoyed and the comedy elements are very hard to be found.

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