1986 / Director. John Carpenter.
I feel a little silly writing about BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. It's a cult classic and it speaks for itself. This 1986 movie follows the tradition of Indiana Jones-style adventures and was one of the supreme Indie-cash-in movies. Actually I take that back... I don't like to think of it as a cash-in. It stands proudly on it's own. The story tells of Jack Burton, a truck driver, who gets caught up in an ancient Chinese gang-war and finds himself leading a group of followers through the subterranean tunnels beneath Chinatown. Facing off against mystical powers and magical sorcerers its high adventure all the way back to the surface. The film's history was long and troubled with the script having floated around Hollywood for some years. It was originally written as a western and with the popularity of Indiana Jones, new writers were brought in to give it a modern setting. A few directors came and went before John Carpenter eventually settled into the role. I cannot think of any better director to steer this baby either. Re-teaming with his Escape From New York star, Kurt Russell, he delivered one of his most outrageous and exciting films. The action is taken seriously all the while having a tongue planted firmly in it's cheek. Russell speaks with a John Wayne accent, which give the audience permission to laugh from the get go. A great script. Fantastically classic dialogue and incredible mid-80s VFX. I watched the movie with my 12 year old son recently and he responded to it exactly as I did some 25 years ago. Evidently the film is timeless!