Monday, March 19, 2012


film review by Wmpyr

I remember really enjoying the film They Live when I was in high school. I've enjoyed that film to this day, but only recently have I really taken notice in the director John Carpenter's films. It was not until I saw Escape from NY a few years ago. Now I can say that John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors. Big Trouble may not be his best work, however, if you like his films, then to me this is a must see, a classic that has many of the things that I like in a John Carpenter film.

Seeing the commentary also helped me understand and appreciate the film.
In this film you venture into China town, through the eyes of a tough guy adventurer/trucker played by Kurt Russell who does a great job. In fact everybody in this film does a great job especially if you consider the fact that they were told to treat it like a comedy. If you view this as a pure action film then you will think the actors are overacting.

The main character is very unique because Carpenter explains that he is a hero that is more like a sidekick, quite useless and self important, however that is what makes the character good and likeable.

James Hong plays the villain Lo Pan and he is great, in fact I dare say this is his best role that I've seen him do.

Many of the other actors are famous hollywood martial arts stunt people in this film, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gerald Okamura, Al Leong, and Eric Lee were the ones I recognized.

This is an incredibly fast paced film, I can imagine that back in the day, that would have made it very unique. After we are introduced to the China town setting with the gang wars going on, we immediately venture into the supernatural that goes into Chinese folk lore which is what inspired the classic video game Mortal Kombat.
Within all this, we have some romance, a ton of martial arts action, a large amount of Kung Fu weapons mixed in with modern firearms which I really enjoyed the dynamic between the presence of the two, like the film it is clash of cultures and mixing of east and west. This was extra noticeable for me when Carpenter chose not to have Kurt as a martial arts guy, as much as I would have liked to have seen Kurt have a cool hand to hand fight scene, I'm glad they decided not to have him fight martial arts style. A good example I can give is when Steven Seagal fought DMX martial arts style in the film EXIT WOUNDS, I felt it was out of place.

I personally wish they had included more Chinese supernatural monsters such as the Kyonshee, which is the Chinese vampire/zombie.
But over all thought this was a very unique and enjoyable film.

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