MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 234 this week

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 74,420 users  
Reviews: 310 user | 152 critic

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video + 1 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Big Trouble in Little China.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant max. security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
They Live (1988)
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This is the sequel to "Romancing the Stone" where Jack and Joan have their yacht and easy life, but are gradually getting bored with each other and this way of life. Joan accepts an ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A romance writer sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
The Fog (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over an ancient leper colony, becomes shrouded by a killer fog containing zombie-like ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Starman (1984)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child who dark forces want to eliminate.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Eddie Murphy, J.L. Reate, Charles Dance
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
Christine (1983)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dennis Dun ...
...
...
...
...
Carter Wong ...
...
...
Suzee Pai ...
...
Jeff Imada ...
Rummel Mor ...
...
Edit

Storyline

When trucker Jack Burton agreed to take his friend Wang Chi to pick up his fiancee at the airport, he never expected to get involved in a supernatural battle between good and evil. Wang's fiancee has emerald green eyes, which make her a perfect target for an immortal sorcerer named Lo Pan and his three invincible cronies. Lo Pan must marry a girl with green eyes so he can regain his physical form. Now, Jack must save Wang's fiancee from Lo Pan and his henchmen, and win back his stolen truck. But how can he defeat an enemy who has no body? Written by Mr. X

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure doesn't come any bigger! See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$11,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Chinese characters in the main title translate to "Evil Spirits Make a Big Scene in Little Spiritual State". See more »

Goofs

When Jack, Wang et al exit the Wing Kong Import/Export Exchange Company, Uncle Choo is waiting outside in a yellow bus. Wing Kong security then open fire on the bus as it drives away. However, as the bus turns a corner seconds later you can see that there aren't any bullet holes or broken windows on the side of the bus they were shooting. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pinstripe lawyer: What I'd like to do today is get your version of what happened.
Egg Shen: Oh, you mean the truth.
Pinstripe lawyer: Of course. First, just state your name and your occupation for the record.
Egg Shen: Oh, Egg Shen. Bus driver.
See more »


Soundtracks

Big Trouble in Little China
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Coupe de Villes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Do you believe in magic?
31 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Despite his recent slide into mediocrity, John Carpenter is responsible for what could be termed some of the biggest cult movies of the 1980's. Following his resounding success with Halloween he went on to direct a number of quirky yet excellent movies that began to tail of toward the end of the 80's with the release of such dross as Prince of Darkness. Carpenters movies are probably some of the most under appreciated pictures of recent cinema history on a commercial level, and none more so than perhaps one of his finest, the delightfully absurd action movie Big Trouble in Little China.

The plot is as daft as they come. Loud mouthed truck driver Jack Burton (played by Carpenter's long time collaborator Kurt Russell) arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown where he agrees to help out old friend Wang (played by Denis Dun) by driving him to the airport to pick up his green eyed fiancé. Things quickly go south however when a band of street punks kidnap the girl and the motley duo set off in pursuit. The pair soon find themselves caught in the middle of gang war that takes on a decidedly mythical bent and are forced to flee while Jack's truck is stolen. All this occurs within the first fifteen to twenty minutes.

If there's one thing you can say about Big Trouble, it's that it's action packed. The plot (such as it is) moves at an incredible pace and the film rarely slows to take breath as it rolls from one action set piece to the next. In such movies, normally the dialogue, and subsequently the acting suffer from a lack of any real attention. Not so here. Carpenter balances everything so perfectly that it's a wonder his career took such a slide. Although the actual story may be incredibly absurd and at times suffers from some rather obvious gaps of logic, the dialogue never fails to sparkle. Russell gives his very best wise ass shtick as Burton, the confused have a go hero who's so out of his depth he should really be fish bait, while Dun excels with a character who is consistently more heroic and capable than the lead. Another wonderful turn comes from an appearance by a young Kim Cattrall (of Sex and the City fame) as Gracie Law, a downmarket lawyer with an ability to talk at incredible speed. Some of the scenes between these three are pure comic genius, as Dun and Cattrall rattle out plot information at a rapid staccato pace while an increasingly bewildered Russell tries desperately to keep up.

Despite such positive remarks, Big Trouble was perhaps one of Carpenter's biggest commercial flops. While many of the movie's fans find this difficult to understand I do not. The reason for its failure is really incredibly simple. In terms of its style and the underlying comedy behind the piece, Carpenter's loving part tribute, part send up of all things Kung Fu was way ahead of the curve in every important respect. Take the relationship between our 'hero' Jack and his 'sidekick' Wang. The true dynamic of this relationship is a wonderfully post modern slant on the cliché buddy dynamic that existed in the 80's and it was done long before post modernist humour became truly fashionable in films (the most obvious example of post modern piece of cinema being Scream). Despite receiving star billing, Russell's Jack is actually a sidekick to Wang. While Wang has the knowledge, the skill and the courage to make him a true classic hero figure, Jack lags behind, being brash, ignorant and of little actual use in a fight. Similarly the action, although remarkably quaint by today's standards in both its look and execution, is a surprisingly accurate foreshadow of the current Hollywood move toward the more graceful, balletic chaos exhibited by movies like The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Ultimately Big Trouble in Little China is a movie that survived thanks to the home video market and for that we can only be grateful. While its looks may have aged, its sense of humour and style is as fresh today as the day it first rolled out in cinemas. In short, it's pure escapist magic.


170 of 186 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Inappropriate Things to Say During Sex (BTiLC Style) darkstorm97
Do people like this more because of nostalgia? jimmyr5595
Game Time bannor216
Honestly ttown6
WHAT DO THEY SAY IN CHINESE? prisoner-7
Why was this a box office flop przemek-m
Discuss Big Trouble in Little China (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page