Big Trouble in Little China is one of my all time favorite films. The story is ridiculous, the dialogue is incoherent and the acting is sub par. Their budget was around $25 million and they only made about $11 million of that back at the box office. Complimentary Critic is an outlet to find films we think are worth watching. It’s not just a place for the critically acclaimed. That’s why our worst rating is “Awesomely Bad”. This is a prime example of an “Awesomely Bad” film.
Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 film starring Kurt Russell as All-American truck driver Jack Burton. He stops in Chinatown, San Fransisco to meet up with an old friend named Wang Chi. He accompanies Wang to to the airport to pick up his green eyed fiancée Miao Yin. When she arrives, a Chinese street gang kidnaps her. They later find out an evil sorcerer named David Lo Pan, who has been cursed to live without a physical body for over 2,000 years, needs to marry a green eyed woman to regain his physical self. Jack Burton and friends team up to fight magicians, monsters and martial artists under the streets of Chinatown, in order to save the women they love.
Jack Burton is arguably Kurt Russell’s best and worst role. He embodies every unlikely hero cliché and truly owns it. Russell has a borderline mullet and wears a tank top tucked into his “Dad Jeans”. He constantly talks about himself in the third person and his dialogue almost solely consists of one liners such as, “It’s all in the reflexes” and “I was born ready”. Burton has some pretty cheesy lines, but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Kim Cattrall plays a lawyer named Gracie Law. Yep, that’s right, her last name is Law and she’s a lawyer. Gracie Law is the stereotypical damsel in distress. She spends a majority of the film either scared, screaming or swooning. Though she is incredibly one dimensional, Law is one of the most amusing characters.
The characters are bad, but the special effects aren’t much better. They weren’t even good for the 80’s. The fight scenes are just comical. When a martial artist runs up a wall, you can blatantly see the suspension wires. The rest of the film feels as if you are on a cheap theme park ride, drenched in neon lighting.
Like I said before, Big Trouble in Little China is not a good film, but it is extremely entertaining. You just have to take it for what it is, one of the cheesiest actions films ever made. Once you get in that mindset, it becomes an instant cult classic. An “Awesomely Bad” film is best seen with a group of friends. Pointing out the absurdities is half the fun. Next time you’re searching for something on Netflix, I recommend playing Big Trouble in Little China. Check out the trailer below and click the link to start streaming now!
Watch it here: Big Trouble in Little China
Let us know what you think!