When his friend's fiancée is kidnapped, truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) embarks upon an unlikely adventure beneath the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown. It seems that the fiancée, green-eyed Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall), has been taken by 2,000-year-old wizard Lo Pan (James Hong), who needs to marry a woman with green eyes if he is to regain his physical form. With guns at the ready, Jack storms into the Chinatown underworld ready to rescue Gracie from Lo Pan's clutches, but with the supernatutal and martial arts forces that are ranged against him, it's a task that is going to be anything but easy.
Once you've realised this 1986 John Carpenter (Halloween
) film is not going to be one of the director's more masterful works, Big Trouble in Little China
just becomes a full-tilt comic blast. Kurt Russell is hilarious as a drawling, would-be John Wayne hero who steps into the middle of a supernatural war in the heart of Chinatown. While kung-fu warriors and otherworldly spirits battle over the fate of two women (Kim Cattrall and Suzee Pai), Russell's swaggering idiot manages to knock himself out or underestimate the forces he's dealing with. The whole thing is dopey, but it's supposed to be dopey and Russell's game performance brings an ironic edge. Carpenter directs some nifty spook effects (the sudden arrival of three martial-arts demigods from out of nowhere is worth applause), and he also wrote the music. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
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