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Friday YouTube: Trailer for Big Trouble in Little China

This is one of those movies I have to watch when it comes on.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

9 Comments on Friday YouTube: Trailer for Big Trouble in Little China

  1. Big Trouble is one of my favourites. It’s become tradition in my house to watch it around Chinese New Year. My wife, who is Chinese, initially thought it was just weird and complained about the invented mythology. But she started to enjoy it for its honest action and unabashed goofiness (I think especially when she realized Jack Burton is really the bumbling sidekick in the story, rather than the dashing hero). She’s now known for occasionally quoting Lo-Pan (“You were not brought upon this Earth to ‘get it’, Mr Burton!”) when she’s giving me heck for something.


  2. I would agree that this is a great genre movie. It has also aged much better then another movie I tend to lump in the same category: Buckaroo Banzai. Along with Top Secret (who can hate a singing Val Kilmer), an annual event with the guys.


  3. My children are fans of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA even though they have never seen the film. One night, as their bedtime story, I told them the story of this movie, which I have seen often enough that I can give a scene by scene description, complete with impersonating the voices and repeating the lines of Jack, Wang, Egg Shen, and Eddy. With the perfect memory retention of little boys hearing a bedtime tale, if I skip a scene (for example, Egg Shen talking to the lawyer at the opening) they clamor to remind me.

    Wang’s Dad (earnestly): “He has spirit medium powers, like the immortals, and his body has become atomized!”

    Jack (confused) “What?”

    Wang (hurriedly): “Just an exaggeration, Jack!”

  4. You have to give Carpenter a lot of credit. It takes courage to make a film that’s not easily categorized in a genre, and that might defy expectations of fans for full-bore horror, etc. You can see the evolution from Escape from NY, which mixed up a lot of humor with a fanciiful setting. Carpenter was clearly having fun, and so can we if we’re willing to go along for the ride.

  5. Luke Shea // March 20, 2009 at 11:08 am //

    I have never been able to finish that movie, and I have a pretty high dumb tolerance. I couldn’t even get all the way through the trailer just now.  I think it might be Kurt Russel’s bad John Wayne thing that pushes it over the edge for me.

  6. John Wright! I want you to record that bedtime story and email me the MP3. SERIOUSLY! I gotta hear that.

  7. When my daughter was younger she used to love this character from BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.

    She would turn over our laundry basket (which looked similar to the hat) and walk around the house shooting (imaginary) lightning bolts at everyone.

    Not to different actually from how I act as a 40 year old today. 😉

  8. @ Luke Shea: the bad John Wayne imitation is deliberately bad. The point is that the character of Jack Burton wants to come off as a tough guy, so he affects the JW verbal swagger. You can see KR letting it dissolve on purpose though when Jack finds himself way in over his head and starts to get scared. That’s one of the things that makes it so funny!

    But, ultimately, I think Carpenter said it best in the commentary: you either like Big Trouble or you don’t. To each their own.


  9. Big Trouble in Little China is a seminal film. Long before the Wuxia films like CTHD, Big Trouble helped introduce Chinese fantasy tropes to American cinema.

    And poor Jack Burton thinks he is the hero–but really, he’s just the sidekick. That clash between his expectations and what he really is is part of the joy of the movie.

    Friends of mine used Big Trouble as part of their inspiration for a role playing session at a roleplaying convention. I knew enough (although my character didn’t) to be frightened when the trio of storm gods showed up!

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