Monday, 21 May 2012
Graeme Carr, Three Little Words - Part 2 - John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China
Sooooo after the random generation of the words trouble, chess and bear in the 3 little words game. I found,watched and reviewed the following film.
This film can only be described in the words of Barney Stinson as LEGEN...... Wait for it.........DARY.
It is of course the classic comedy/horror lite/actioner known as....The Bear who had Trouble with Chess.
What? You haven't heard of it?? And you call yourselves film fans! Anywhoo...it's a story of an under appreciated bear called Peter who has no interest in doing bear things but has an uncanny knack for winning chess games. He befriends a small man child by the name of Jennings and together they travel all around the country competing in chess tournaments chased by a nutty circus owner who wants Peter to be his main attraction. All is well until the big chess final when Peter, having withheld his dark secret from his Christopher Robin is distraught, not being able to take the deception anymore Peter confronts his pal Jennings and unzips ....( his bear costume!!)'...to reveal.... AL.... Jennings EVIL TWIN......Mhuwahahahaha!!!....WAIT......WAIT.....if you were reading that and though "Damn!...that sounds good I'm going to need to check that out"... Then puleeese step away from your DVD player.. Open your front door and look around... See civilisation? .... Good... Now go get a life you've been couped up far far too long friend!!!.
Anyway I really watched John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China" the Kurt Russell vehicle from 1986... Sheesh 26 years..how the time has flown by since I was a seven year old sitting on the carpet eyes glued to the 19 inch colour TV with wood panelling... Boy that TV was sweet!!.
Anyway for the few people or young uns who may not have seen it, here is a brief synopsis -
Hapless trucker Jack Burton and his kung fu clan member friend Wang Chi try to rescue wangs fiancé from the clutches of a 2000 year old magician by the name of Lo Pan, who wants to take her as his wife bacause she has emerald green eyes ( go figure). Much kung fu, sorcery, fisticuffs and wisecracking ensue...Oh and a few monsters!!
Anyway, my trip down nostalgia lane was bittersweet! Don't get me wrong...the story is still engaging, it has a similar feel to other 80's classics such as The Goonies or Gremlins.
The acting is great, well from Russell and James Wong as the evil magician Lo Pan at least. The rest are the upper side of average at best. For instance, Kim Cattrall, best know as strong willed cougar Samantha in Sex and the City is relegated to typical 80's eye candy in a thinly written part in which she plays a lawyer who is intellectually superior than the hero...yet spends much of the time (and using none of her smarts) needing rescued!!
Snake Plisken and R.J. Mcready aside, Russell has rarely topped this performance as idiot macho man Jack Burton, only his turn as Gabriel in 1989's Tango and Cash has allowed him to flex both his action and wise cracking muscles at the same time. Which is a shame, cos he is superb at it (let's not mention Captain Ron... Ever!!! That's the first rule of Kurt Club!)
Anyway, as Russell's bumbling hero staggers from one set piece to another, the action scenes are great and stand the test of time...mostly. The only real let down is the special effects! I have better on my mobile apps. These were amazing when I was seven, but then so was my Atari! Not so amazing at 32!
This film is so ready for a Lucas style revamp!! Time to bring it to a new generation.
It is typically 80's with its electric pop/ rock sound, naff clothes/hair and set design and a typical 80's presentation, but it's self knowing enough to not take itself too seriously. It's just unadulterated FUN!!
You could do worse than taking a ride back in time on the pork chop express.... adventure might be bigger now but rarely does it get any better..
Rose tinted glasses... Maybe... But i'm a sucker for 80's movies...Big Trouble in Little China kung fu's its way to the top of my awesomeness chart.. Re-check it out!!