Saturday, December 15, 2012

Big Trouble in Little China

Buy it, Rent it, Net-Flix it, Skip it or. Why aren't you watching it right now.

Big Trouble in Little China

Kurt Russell as Jake Burton, Kim Cattrall as Gracie Law, Dennis Dun as Wang Chi, James Hong as David Lo-Pan, And Victor Wong as Egg Shen.

This film holds a special place in my heart. While not a great introduction to Asian culture, it shows small bits to get you interested. So the story of Jack Burton.

Jack Burton truck-driver and shit-talker master is driving to San Francisco to make a delivery and see old friend Wang Chi. After a night of playing and drinking Jack and Wang head to San Francisco International Airport to pick up Miao Yin, Wang's Fiancee. While at the airport Jack encounters Gracie Law attempting to hit on her he fails. As Miao is exiting customs she is grabbed by a gang called the Lords of Death. They grab her with no security present? I mean are there no cops at all in San Francisco. Trailing the Lords to China town Jack and Wang-Chi encounter a funeral procession for a recently Assassinated leader of a gang called the Chang Sing. The procession is stopped by the Wing Kong,who have the intial battle are joined by "The 3 Storms and Lo Pan" After running over Lo Pan and seeing no damage to him, Jack and Wang run to escape. After escaping to Wang-Chi's resturant to regroup. Gracie Law reappears asking who was the woman kidnapped by the Lords of death. Wang-Chi is shocked to learn that she has been sold into a sex slave operation. Wang-Chi introduces Jack to his friend Eddie Lee. They discuss how to get Miao back as getting the police will not get involved and that Gracie Law says her face would make doing the job harder. Burton decides to help. He enters the brothel asking specific questions about a girl with green eyes. As green eyes are rare in China. Not sure if that is true. Moving on. Once Jack is inside the brothel it is attacked by the 3 storms. The 3 storms Thunder, Rain, and Lighting kidnappe Miao Yin. Jack is of no matter to the Storms as he attacks one and the storm barely notices. Heading back to Gracie's apt. Jack demands answers. He is told that no one knows for sure. Wang-Chi and Jack decide to head to Lo-Pan's company to see if that could lead some where. While that is going on Eddie and Gracie head back to Wang-Chi's restaurant where they meet Egg Shen who is the resident expert on Lo-Pan. Egg explains the legends and myth about Lo-Pan. Saying that Lo-Pan is cursed to walk the earth forever unless he finds a special girl with green eyes. But he must also murder her to complete the debt. As Wang-Chi and Jack are caught trying to break into Lo-Pan's stronghold they are caught and beaten. Taken to Lo-Pan Jack is shocked to see an old man in a wheel chair as the one he say was walking. Jack questions Lo-Pans sanity and is forced back to his cell. Gracie and Eddie along with a reporter named Margo attempt to locate Jack and Wang-Chi. They themselves are captured. Jack and Wang-Chi escape and save  Eddie, Margo, and Gracie along with numerous other young women being held by Lo-Pan. As they escape the compound Gracie is captured again by a monster that serves Lo-Pan. After being seen by Lo-Pan, Gracie is also to marry him as she has green eyes. Jack and Wang-Chi team up with Egg Shen and Chang Sings to defeat Lo-Pan....

This movie is one that you can either go with or you will hate it. Kurt Russell play Jack as the shit-talking know it all. He gives the lines that pop and zing that some movies leads lack. Along with Russell is Dennis Dun who is the true hero of the story although he takes the back sit to Jack. If you notice during the movie everything Jack does is at the basic core of being the side kick. He makes the jokes. He gets his but kicked. He talks big game. But its Wang-Chi who is the hero getting his true love. He is all business. Where Jack talks Wang-Chi acts. Jack sees himself as the hero. James Hong gives performance of his career to me. Every time I see him on screen its Lo-Pan. Victor Wong as Egg-Shen is a treat.He and Lo-Pan have a history that is never revealed completely. That would make a great movie on its own.

The impact this movie has is seen in video games. Lo-Pan's look is same look Ed Boon and John Tobais used for Shang Tsung in the first Mortal Kombat game. The hats wore by The 3 storms are seen on Raiden. The Egg-Shen is also one of base elements of Raiden where he knows what Lo-Pan is what he can do. Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport influenced Mortal Kombat also but you can see some of the frame work here.

The film was originally suppose to be set in the old west. But seeing as it was easier and better cost effective it was changed to present. The film was a bomb when it first came out. On the commentary for the movie John Carpenter said the film was marketed wrong. The main reason is because they didn't know how to market it. But it gained a cult following and has become a repeat viewing in most peoples homes that have watched it.

So is it a rent, skip it, net-flix it, buy it, or a why aren't you watching this now? It's a why aren't you watching thisright now. Goodbye Mr.Burton.

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