Saturday, September 28, 2019

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Synopsis: Surprisingly incompetent hero discovers San Francisco’s Chinatown is riddled with underground temples and dungeons and infested with strange, mythical creatures.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “High adventure in an underground kingdom!”
What Did I Learn?: A brave man likes the feel of nature on his face….and a wise man has enough sense to get out of the rain. 2) Sorcery is real and it always begins very small. 3) When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye and reply: “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”
Really?: See: “Synopsis.” and "Blurb from the VHS Jacket." Seriously, Big Trouble is a larger-than-life action-fantasy-comedy that gleefully demolishes the boundaries of narrative credibility, but I’d like to point out that: a) Miao Yin (Suzee Pai) doesn’t look particularly Chinese, b) I have no idea why Wang (Dennis Dun) somehow feels he needs Jack’s (Kurt Russell) help to rescue Miao, considering the former is quite an accomplished martial arts expert, and Jack is more of a blustering goofball, and c) it’s awfully convenient how Jack and Wang somehow bump into Gracie (Kim Cattrall) at the airport, and she later (and independently) joins their team.
Rating: Big Trouble in Little China is a roller coaster ride of a movie that’s built around an extremely wacky plot and a very funny performance from Russell that owes a lot more to John Wayne than the Clint Eastwood impression he adopted in Escape from New York. Big Trouble is a fun little romp, but the story doesn’t make a lot of sense and it tends to drag near the end. 7/10 stars.

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