“You are not brought upon this world to get it!”

Get ready to shake the pillars of Heaven, because Big Trouble and Little China is the Greatest Movie EVER!
Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring Sean ‘Hollywood’ Hunting.

Review in a Nutshell: It’s all in the reflexes.


  1. finalfuryk says:

    The end of an era. Are we getting an Equilibrium podcast next?

  2. jephilli6 says:

    the end of an era indeed. not sure i completely agree on the trio of protagonists assessment but see how it could be drawn. lo pan and egg, sure …but i never felt like wang was the principle character or leader because it felt like he still relied on jack for leadership at several points making him secondary or on equal footing with jack. i’m thinking mainly of the scene where they are breaking out the slave girls and jack gives the group the plan of next steps, not wang. maybe the loveable loser role of jack was so strong it clouded the perception of wang chi. either way, very interesting perspective! also, thank you as i’d NEVER… in seeing this movie probably 20+ times… noted the fact that jack was transporting pigs and that was the genesis of his truck’s name.

  3. timeliebe says:

    Thing was, a lot of people didn’t “get” BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA when it first came out, because wuxia movies weren’t well-known in the U.S. in 1986. I didn’t get it back then, for that matter – it seemed awfully disjointed to my Western movie fan/movie maker sensibilities, and it took seeing more Hong Kong (and Hong Kong-influenced) movies before it all came together for me.

    Tammy, who had been reviewing martial arts movies for a few years before I met her, has loved this movie from the get-go. One of our first sets of dates (though she argued our whole relationship up to getting married was one long date!) was I took her to Times Square to see a Triple Bill of action-horror films, and she took me to Chinatown to see one of Martial Arts Movies….

  4. John Bayard says:

    So who are you leaving out of this podcast and do you know have them declaring a fatwa against you for leaving them out? That being said, what’s not to get about this movie except that it is the greatest movie ever made!

  5. David Wright says:

    Thank you so much for covering this movie. I have loved “Big Trouble” for almost all of its 27 years, and have seen it several times myself. Six? Seven? Have I hit the even dozen?

    It is to my shame that once, many years ago, I disparaged it in front of someone I was trying to impress, and that person rightly put me in my place by saying, “Actually, it’s the greatest movie ever.” He was correct then, and you two are correct now.

    Out of curiosity, how does the choreography and filming of the “Big Trouble” fighting compare to “proper” martial arts movies?

  6. Solid MUldoon says:

    You puppies. I saw Big Trouble in the theater when I was 28. Four times.

    Loved it the first time. Second time I realized Kurt Russell was doing John Wayne. Third time I recognized that Jack Burton never does anything right (other than the reflexes.) Only on the fourth viewing did I really get that Jack Burton was the sidekick in his own movie.

    I wouldn’t say Big Trouble is my favorite move, but I’d bet I’ve watched it more often than any other. I’ve actually listened to the commentary track multiple times, because Russell and Carpenter seem to be having a blast watching the movie again. It is entertaining as hell.

    Love the show. Mom is adorable. Is she single?

  7. James Smith says:

    I love this movie!! Oh, and I was born the year it came out! 😀

  8. timeliebe says:

    Jack Burton isn’t a sidekick in his own movie, as much as he’s one of a Heroic Trio – Sage (Egg Chen), Pure-of-Heart Hero (Wang Chi), and Brave or Clever Clown (Jack Burton). He seems like a sidekick to you because in Western movies the White Star Is Always Large and In Charge, even if he’s part of a team – Jack isn’t here, and every time he tries to be the results are hilariously unfortunate (like shooting his gun into the ceiling, breaking off a bit of it and knocking himself out!). Still, he’s the guy who kills Lo Pan because “It’s All In The Reflexes” – he’s also the one who rescues the White Potential Love Interest (Gracie Law).

  9. Aaron Montgomery says:

    Two things: The scene at the beginning with Egg Shen at the lawyers was added because the studio didn’t think that Jack Burton came off as very heroic. So they filmed it to shut them up. Also don’t forget about the Memoirs of an Invisible Man. That was pretty much the one studio movie that Carpenter made.

  10. James Smith says:

    The VERY first time I saw this movie, I figured that Jack was reallythe sidekick.

  11. DensityDuck says:

    It seems to me that this movie was, in a way, a spiritual brother to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, in the sense that it’s intentionally presenting us with the middle bit of a long-running adventure serial. This is, you might say, the episode of the serial where the producers invent a new character and try to get the audience to like him so they can make a spin-off series. That’s why Jack Burton seems to be just kind of hanging around through a lot of the movie–because, while this is, like, “Jack Burton and the Pork Chop Express Episode 12: Big Trouble in Little China!”, Jack Burton is just the hook. He’s the character the audience likes and wants to see, and he’s what brings them into the theater where they’re presented with this new guy who, should the audience respond positively, will be appearing next summer in “Wang Chi and the Little China Firecrackers in: The Demon of Han Tsui Mountain!”

    …except that we didn’t *know* who Jack Burton was before this movie, so the whole conceit fell flat.

    Anyway, that’s my thought about that.


    The thing about the practical effects is that we were seeing the end stage of practical effects evolution. The CGI from the early Nineties looks awful compared to what we get now because we are, in effect, comparing “Plan Nine From Outer Space” effects work to something like, well, “Big Trouble in Little China”. So of course it looks good and holds up; it’s the result of eighty-some years of people figuring out how to do it. The computer graphics in 2071 are probably gonna look pretty dang awesome.

  12. I had the exact same reaction to “Big Trouble” as Paul did when I first saw it at 7-8 years old. The practical and makeup effects haunted me; especially exploding guy.

    Watching it recently, I feel kinda “meh” about it. I almost declared it an overrated film. I got the gag of the switched protagonists, but it felt too jarring for me. Jack Burton was a much more fun character, but I kept trying to focus on Wang Chi, since this was his story. Jack is like a character that should have his own movie, but couldn’t get one, so he crashed Wang Chi’s instead.

    I dig this flick, but I don’t share the affection for it that most people have for it.

  13. Seth says:

    I dig the Big Trouble in Little China podcast, and your talk about genre switching in movies leads me to ask about your opinion of the movie The Warrior’s Way, which is a western/ninja movie. I don’t believe it’s nearly as good as Big Trouble, but do you believe it follows in the same vein?

  14. gooberzilla says:

    I think it tries, Seth, but it doesn’t succeed. There’s too much winking at the camera in The Warrior’s Way. They should have played it straight.

  15. VichusSmith says:

    I am disappointed (but I will get over it) that the Big Trouble in Little China theme was not sung as a duet on this podcast! It’s the first thing that comes to me whenever this fine film is mentioned.

    PLEASE keep The Golden Child in your back pocket. I think it’s worth this podcast’s time, but maybe 2 newbies to the film should be on that future, hypothetical, future recording.

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