Magical Carpenter. - Film Review of Big Trouble In Little China Town

John Carpenter is at it again, in one of his more fun natured films where the imagination is left to wonder. The film will never go down as one of his best projects, but with that in mind it still gives an enjoyable viewing for the viewer. ‘Jack Burton’ another one of Carpenters explosive characters brought to the big screen doesn’t allow the film to keep to a obvious plot like many other films around this time. The film starts with Jack (Kurt Russell) playing a successful game of cards with a few old friends from his trucking days, leads him in to a airport hoping to receive a payment, a Kidd knapping follows and as the character Carpenter envisioned then goes in search of his friends soon to be wife. Confusion takes place for Burton and the audience as the plot then takes a sudden change as they go in search of this soon to be wed. They then stumble on a battle between two old rivals in the shape of little china, which ends in spells and magic being presented to the audience and that’s when the real fireworks begin.

Kurt Russell on his own could sell this film. But the partnership of John and Kurt unite again as in ‘The Thing’, ‘Escape From New York’ and ‘Escape From LA, Carpenter kept with his main man as lead role which once again brings out a different role for Russell to present to the audience and does so in such a great manor. Leading the film with ’Jack Burton’ who gives the impression that he is a childish and stupid man who produces the goods when the going gets tough. Kim Cattrall puts in a solid professional performance as a secretive women (Gracie Law) who knows more than she lets on. Cattarell keeps the good work up whilst her other supporting actors such as Dennis Dun (Wang chi) and James Hong (David Lo Pan) give help her and the film in giving real accolades. Carpenter uses her as his own ’James Bond’ girl where at short periods of the film shows small romance between her and Jack. Screen written by new boys Gary Goldman and David Weinstein did them the world of good with how well it was written.

A very obvious and straightforward comedy fun themed film, but what Carpenter does well, but because of the fun nature of the film it could easily get out of hand and have silly things happening all over the shop and then the film wouldn’t of worked as well and wouldn’t of been as successful. But how Carpenter goes about not allowing this is spot on, he leaves these silly/fun scenes to a more action packed period of the film and where other films would bring in a real cheesy quote aiming to leave a meaningful quote, John does decide to go with a cheesy quote but not to leave a impact of purpose but more so of a joke for example when Jack opens the door to see a large number of enemies he then obviously says “we may be trapped”. He also uses times his fun in scenes perfect, where for example someone like Arny would shoot the roof to show off his strength in other films, Jack fires above him to then have the ceiling fall to his head. Little things like this make the film stand out more and make you laugh. Carpenter still allows a small amount of a romance theme throughout the film between the two main characters only to end with Jack being a ‘man’ and leaving her for his truck, yet again this doesn’t allow Carpenter to be seen as going soft on the audience.

As said above Carpenter keeps with his main man Kurt but this isn’t the only theme Carpenter continues to produce in his films, but of the creative monsters he likes to bring to the screen like in ‘Halloween‘ he likes a well detailed evil character which so to is produced in this film, John likes to keep to good detail and with a ghostly looking tall individual has some common attributes of that a certain ‘Mike Myres‘ in this film. John obviously enjoys a good explosion of a person or of a alien like the memorable scene in ’The thing’ and yet again doesn’t disappoint with near to the end of the film a ‘baddie’ through irritation and anger from Jack, then decides to suck in air to enlarge like a balloon continuously in till no more then explodes, his body and flesh in a green blood/gas form scatters the floor.

Overall the film wont go down as a great or be remembered as one of his best pieces of work, regardless of this the film entertains throughout, a film with no room for boredom or similarity to any other films. But shouldn’t be forgotten for its fun antics and good use of music where necessary. Time will see if it has what it takes to be still talked about in years to come, but 27 years have been and gone but still had me as well as others entertained throughout. Easily forgotten, but easily enjoyed.