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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 29.76%
Average: 7.14%
Pretty Bad: 1.19%
Total Crap: 4.76%

4 reviews, 60 user ratings

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Big Trouble in Little China
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by Roo

"If you like B movies, it's worth your time."
4 stars

Do you like serious movies? Drama? Suspense? Political correctness? Long soliloquies? Don't bother renting this one, you'll hate it.

When George Lucas made STAR WARS, he set out to create a film that resembled the old Saturday-morning serials, where good was good, bad was bad, and the hero always gets the girl. I think John Carpenter was trying to imagine what would happen if a young John Wayne ended up in the middle of a Chinese martial-arts extravaganza. He came up with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.

Imagine every cliche you've ever seen in an action movie. Throw in a few martial-arts cliches, a couple of flying swordsmen, a few gods, an immortal sorceror, and some neon, and you've got what is possibly the worst B-movie since ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981). If you like B-movies, you'll LOVE THIS FILM. It's got guns, big trucks, huge fights, explosions, lightning, thunder, magic, green-eyed girls, and a hero who's too stupid to know when he's out of his league.

Kurt Russell stars as Jack Burton, a loud-mouthed truck driver who isn't exactly known for his fast thinking. A string of good luck turns bad as a gambling victory drops him right into the middle of what looks at first like a war between Chinese gangs, but (of course) turns out to be a battle for the survival of the human race. It's the tale of an ordinary man thrown into an extraordinary situation, who prevails against impossible, heck, it's just a fun movie. If you look any deeper than that, you're going to be sorely disappointed, because there's not much there.

The cast is excellent, or at least perfectly cast. Kim Catrall is perfect as the love interest, and Victor Wong delivers the same great performance he always does (you'll know him when you see him). There are lots of familiar faces, and several excellent newcomers. The script is great, perfect B-grade stuff--every other line can stand by itself. There's only one thing to do with a movie like this: clear your mind, relax, and enjoy the ride!

It definitely beats the Hell of Bad Plotless European Cinema...

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 05/19/99 07:56:33
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Boston SciFi Film Festival For more in the 2015 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/22/19 Blobbo Jobbo Much fun for Blobbo. 5 stars
11/16/16 RayB Brilliantly entertaining! Lo Pan is dark and cool... 5 stars
8/25/16 Cliff Bst send u of Kung fu and Westerns. My personal DVD's keep disappearing. 5 stars
7/19/16 Bamer4127 One of the most wonderfully hokey, deceptively hilarious romps in cinematic history! 5 stars
5/20/16 Jason 80's Kurt Russell + martial arts 5 stars
5/05/16 David Hollingsworth A campy and fun cult classic that is still entertaining, 5 stars
3/02/12 R.W. Welch Off-the-wall actioner, moderately entertaining. 3 stars
10/02/10 bored mom The Greatest American Action-Adventure-Comedy-Drama-Fantasy-Mystery-Thriller Classic Ever. 5 stars
7/17/08 DJ AKO Saw this when I was a young girl and is still my favorite movie of all time!!!! 5 stars
2/02/08 MP Bartley I'd take this over Kill Bill every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays. 5 stars
3/14/07 Grizzle Best. Movie. Ever. 5 stars
3/05/07 Mel Howard's Floating Head Great flick. Makes me all nostalgic. Plus, no one can defeat Kurt's mullet. Not even Tango. 5 stars
11/03/06 AJ Muller if you don't agree that this is one of the best flicks EVER, it's okay - you're just stupid 5 stars
10/04/06 K.Sear How senseless can one movie be? Plus, Lo-Pan is easily the most anticlimactic villain ever 1 stars
9/13/06 Booksworm Has pretty much everything I like in an action movie 5 stars
7/26/06 Quigley what is wrong with you people? this movie was downright awful! scum galore! 1 stars
12/14/05 deadfishrman this movie is great you must watch! 4 stars
10/07/05 Klondo Thunder is my favorite Storm. He looks like Van Damme. 5 stars
8/24/05 ES the pinnacle of the so bad its cool action movie genre- Jack is the man 5 stars
1/16/05 Jeff Anderson THIS FILM RULES, RULES, RULES!!! Arguably J. Carpenter's and K. Russell's greatest film. 5 stars
11/13/04 Samuel Its all in the reflexes 5 stars
9/15/04 John Stuwert it was the BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
7/18/04 Stevo "Have you paid you're dues yet?" Who is a better hero than Burton? 4 stars
7/07/04 Lord Durvok 2 Great fun - a world of entertainment. 4 stars
4/11/04 American Slasher Goddess Enjoyable and hugely fun. 5 stars
2/09/04 Whatevr I don't care what the critis say. This movie rules! 5 stars
8/11/03 Kyle No Andrew, special effects DON'T make the movie. But Kurt Russel kicking ass does. 4 stars
5/07/03 Eeon A highly enjoyable movie. 5 stars
4/18/03 Vimmy mardousch a campy classic. not one for humourless wankers, though. 5 stars
4/14/03 Monkey Boy LO PAN RULES! Great action flick! 5 stars
4/11/03 kurt matthews one of the best movies in the world, rent or buy it! pure cheeze, its all in the reflexes 5 stars
3/20/03 Jack Sommersby Russell's outstanding, but the film is way too broad and grating. 2 stars
7/12/02 KMG Pretty good, pretty cool 4 stars
6/19/02 Charles Tatum Not Carpenter's strongest 3 stars
2/27/02 Alan Smithee The DVD is fantastic. My 2nd favorite John C. film (1st being The Thing). 5 stars
2/16/02 Martin Yates The best fantasy comedy martial arts action adventure sci-fi horror buddy movie of all time 5 stars
11/23/01 Andrew Carden Special Effects Don't Always Make The Movie. 1 stars
11/12/01 Gracy Lionheart One of the funkiest movies I have seen. I have loved this movie since I was a kid. 4 stars
10/27/01 faididi Cheesy fast paced action adventure with Cantonese humour. 4 stars
9/03/01 Butterbean Kurt Russel's best work in this delightfully cheezy flick. 5 stars
8/26/01 Gumshoe A classic in its own style 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk This is the pork chop express saying: if you don't like this movie, fuck yourself! 5 stars
7/08/01 Lo Ren One Fantastic Hunk of Cheese 5 stars
6/14/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) A genre-blender, and I LOVE those... 4 stars
5/28/01 chickpea one of, if not the best, classic BAD movie. Beautifully stupid. 5 stars
5/16/01 Rungekutta13 Amazing movie. Hell of a good time. Watch it. Now. 5 stars
4/20/01 Corbin Dallas a 80's fantasy classic with The Dark Crystal, Last Unicorn and Labyrinth 5 stars
2/26/01 Destruction Worker Awesomely awesome awesomeness. 5 stars
11/18/00 Skeets A movie to view on a "dark and stormy night" just for the fun of watching a movie. 4 stars
9/30/00 Jed An alright movie it is no clasic but it is better than J.C's "Vampires". 3 stars
7/19/00 Naushad Khanji A fine piece of entertainment. 4 stars
6/05/00 Adrian Byrne Now it is wonderful "kitsch"; then it was an unpretentious action. Who didn't love Jack?!?! 4 stars
4/18/00 Jed Better than some of the other crud carpenter made. 3 stars
2/16/00 RoNiN one of my favorite films 5 stars
1/25/00 Chris Whitney yah baby 5 stars
12/05/99 Eric S. Solidly entertaining and pretty humorous, but the action scenes are too sluggish 3 stars
11/26/99 the Grinch Hail yeah! 'Bout time this movie got some respect! 4 stars
7/07/99 Ben Leostein Rating: ** (out of ****) Category: "Average" 3 stars
5/09/99 The Bomb 69 gets better with age, must like campy humor though 5 stars
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