Blu-ray Review: BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986)

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

Review: Big Trouble in Little China / Cert: 15 / Director: John Carpenter / Screenplay: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein, W.D. Richter / Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong / Release Date: December 16th

Arrow Films continue their one company crusade to bring fans the best possible versions of their favourite movies with the quirky yet excellent Big Trouble in Little China.

The fourth collaboration between director Carpenter and star Russell pitches us into a modern day San Francisco Chinatown where a magical underworld awaits that promises adventure and fun. Misunderstood on its release – Fox obviously had no idea how to market this movie hybrid – it has gained a cult status all of its own as the years have gone by and it’s easy to see why.

Jack Burton (Russell) has to rescue his best friend’s girlfriend from the nefarious clutches of David Lo Pan (Hong), a 2,000 year old magician who is hell-bent on becoming human again. That’s the story in a nutshell, but the brilliance of this film is not its layered plot or excellent acting, but the pure adrenaline thrill ride that it is. Mixing comedy, action, adventure, Kung fu, monsters and ghosts, it creates a subgenre all by itself – although don’t ask us what it’s called. This is Boy’s Own fun and with Burton, we have one of the best action heroes who never were.

Arrow have outdone themselves again with this release of an '80s classic. Both the Blu-ray and a limited edition Steelbook are brimming with extras. Fair enough, most of them were on the 2-disc DVD release a few years back, but one of the great new editions, along with a cracking transfer, is a bunch of new interviews with Carpenter, Russell and a lot of others involved in the production. It’s very insightful and interesting to hear what they have to say about the film. There’s also a booklet with new writing on the film.

In all honesty, if you’ve never seen the film, then buy it now. If you have and you already own it on DVD, there’s plenty to convince you to pick up this HD version. As good old Jack Burton always says, “The cheque's in the mail.”

Extras: Audio commentary / Interviews / Featurette / Deleted scenes / TV spots / Gallery

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