Big Trouble in Little China ( 1986 )
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
Director: John Carpenter
Script: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT:
When a truck driver Jak Burton ( Kurt Russell ) wins a gambling game he will have to go to hell and meet an ancient warlord to claim his money... and to save the world at the same time!
Ok. So the way I've described above sounds probably even better than the movie actually looks.
But... You have to believe ( if You still haven't watched it yet ) that it's really hard to tell what the whole thing is about.
But... incase You'd like to resign from watching yet already do not be afraid. IT'S WORTH IT.
It has a lot of good stuff in it. And it has Kurt Russel and beautifull Kim Cattrall as well.
And there are martial arts. And some gunfights as well. And a bit of comedy. And a bit o kitsch. Lots and lots of kitsch to be honest by this is a good kind of kitsch, the one You enjoy.
Using other words, this one of those movies some people would call "So bad that it's actually good!".
And I think it fits well into that strange category.
Because it's really hard to tell how the hell this movie was actually greenlighted and what kind of crazy stuff did the writers take while creating it.
But... as I've mentioned it has Kurt Russell in the cast... and the beauty fo Kim Cattrall and lots of fights.
So why the hell was it actually a FLOP?
And why is it still a classic one at the same time?
Well... it's hard to tell.
I guess it's partially because there was a stronge force of rivarling movies in the cinemas at the time it came out. And it had no chances to capture enough attantion. Or that what "the People" like to say.
But, isn't it what "the People" tend to say to explain a failure... even if the movie cost insane amount of millions of dollars to be made?
I think that the problem with "Big Trouble..." is that that as it is a mixture of dozens of genres it fails to actually sell it to fans of any of those genres.
It's martial arts but it's more like a parody than a good martial arts movie itself.
It's an action adventure movie but both action and adventure is not that convincing.
It has some cool monsters... but they seem out of place, they pop out from nowhere when nobody expects them and then disappear when You'd expect them to make more screen time.
There are wheelchairs that pop out from nowhere, skeletons in the water that pop out from nowhere, and so on and so on.
Same with a villain, same with henchmen, same with the good guys.
There's something missing. And some weird things that could be easily removed for the good of the script.
There's this problem with our main hero, that he is a simple guy from nowhere and doesn't seem to be a former military but yet he jumps straight into a fight with submachines guns and plays a commando.
There's is this main evil with powers and background no one will really understand and who's death is one of the goofiest in the history of Hollywood ( ups... SPOILER ALERT.. Yes, the bad guy dies ).
Same with Kurt's "sidekick". Your friendly neighbourhood chinaman who - but of course! - happens to be a master of martial arts, or at least he's good enough to defeat demonic warriors... the same ones who've just a little big earlier manage to exterminate a few dozens of chinese-american street fighters.
Do not be affraid. Take a beer or two, close one eye to forget about all those silly things, and enjoy the show!
Did You know that this was supposed to be a western set in the proper century, with a main hero being a real gunslinger?
How You like that to happen?
Obviusly it would explain main hero skills with guns... and probably seemed to be too costly to get filmed back then... period clothes and sets always cost.
But Hay!... who says such movie couldn't be made even today?