My Cultural Diet

409 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
Big Trouble in Little China

Big Trouble in Little China

John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China never fails to put a huge smile on my face, starting with Kurt Russell’s iconic performance as trucker Jack Burton, who finds himself in over his head while battling sorcerers, monsters, and kung fu masters straight out of Chinese myth and legend. I love how the movie is an obvious homage to kung fu and wuxia movies, and even stars a couple of martial arts movie legends like Carter Wong and Jeff Imada. I love how it plays with an Americanized (i.e., overly exoticized) version of Chinese culture even as it subverts that by making Russell’s swaggering, tough-talking, John Wayne-esque hero perpetually confused and out of his depth. (As Carpenter put it in his DVD commentary, Burton is a sidekick who thinks he’s the main character.) I love James Hong and Victor Wong’s performances as Lo Pan and Egg Shen, respectively. Basically, I love everything about this movie, from its beginning to its surprisingly bittersweet ending. May the wings of liberty never lose a feather, indeed.


Return to the Opus homepage