Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Genres - Action, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Action Comedy, Fantasy Comedy, Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Jul 2, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Kurt Russell has a great time doing his best John Wayne impersonation in Big Trouble in Little China, an enjoyably offbeat adventure tale from horror director John Carpenter. Borrowing its style from the Indiana Jones movies, Big Trouble is set in the underworld of Chinatown where centuries-old wars are fought with swords and sorcery. Picking up where his Snake Plissken left off in Escape from New York, Russell stars as a cocky, boisterous trucker who gets caught up in the madness. While the fight scenes are sharply choreographed and exciting, Carpenter maintains a humorous, tongue-firmly-in-cheek mood that has as many funny gags as it does duds. The supporting cast -- led by Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong (also in Carpenter's Prince of Darkness), and Kim Cattrall -- also appears to be having a good time with the material. The extensive special effects are not among the best of their time, but they are perfectly in keeping with the film's light tone. Highlights include several garish-looking creatures and excellent aging makeup work on the villain.