BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA - TWO-DISC SPECIAL
Big Trouble In Little China - Two-Disc Special Edition
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall
Director: John Carpenter
Edition Details: Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only),
PAL, Box set, Special Edition, Widescreen,
Number of discs: 2
16:9 Enhanced Widescreen, 4:3 Letterboxed
Aspect Ratio: 2.35: 1
Sound: Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby 2.0 Surround
Language & Sub-Titles: English, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hebrew,
Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish
Audio: Commentary by John Carpenter & Kurt Russell
Documentaries: Featurette, Richard Edlund Interview
Clips: Deleted Scenes, Three Theatrical Trailers, Ten TV Spots,
Other: Production Notes, Two Magazine Articles
reading John Carpenter's remarks about this movie in
Prince of Darkness by Gilles
Boulenger, a book of interviews with the cult director, I became
interested in again
seeing this 1986 movie starring Kurt Russell again. After
all, Russell and Carpenter worked together quite well on
Escape from New York and
The Thing, although the less said about their
made-for-TV biopic about Elvis Presley, the better.
Anyway, Big Trouble in Little China has also acquired a fervent
cult following on the Internet so maybe I had missed something back in
1986 when I saw the movie for the first time. Back then I thought it to be
an unremarkable (and loud!) Indiana Jones-style action movie. A
sort of The Goonies, but with adults.
So being a fair-minded sort of guy (despite what my detractors might say
of my review of Lord of the Rings -
of the King) I decided to check the movie again. On DVD obviously
there anyone who still bothers with VHS out there?
Well, it seems my initial instincts about the movie were unfortunately
correct: Big Trouble in Little China may be a cult movie, but it
isn't in particular a cult I would like to belong to though. It is obvious
that the movie is also written by W.D. Richter, the author of another cult
favourite I didn't quite get named The
Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.
Like that movie it is quirky and somewhat offbeat, but unfortunately also
hopelessly incoherent and difficult to care about. Big Trouble
isn't quite as incoherent as Buckaroo Banzai, but it is also just
one damn thing after the other without any coherent structure. Scenes just
seem tacked on endlessly. We see people running up and corridors. They
fight. Later they run some more and fight some more. Repeat. Add copious
amounts of special effects typical of the era, courtesy of Richard Edlund
of Return of the Jedi (and
Masters of the Universe!) fame.
The net effect is a movie that is difficult to care about. Russell is game
as the bungling macho braggart hero, but never quite fun in the same way
as Bruce Campbell is in Army of Darkness and
Evil Dead 2.
RECOMMENDATION: This kung fu/fantasy/action comedy has its
fans, so check it out at your own peril. One
they have actually watched it . . .