Big Trouble in Little China

When I put this on Netflix right after the podcast was released, it had been the first time I had seen it since I watched this on cable back in the late '80s. Basically the only the thing I remembered from it was that great Kurt Russell line, "I was born ready." So I had a lot of fun watching it this time around. By the way, that "born ready" line is one of my all-time favorite action movie lines. It's right up there with "I'll be back" and "Go ahead make my day."

It is without a doubt a product of its time. Everything from the special effects to John Carpenter's lousy score just screams mid-80s. I particularly loved his special effects in this. I wish film makers would just get rid of CGI altogether when I watch movies like this.

One fact that the guys brought up in the podcast that I really found interesting was that this was supposed to have an old western setting. I thought this would have fascinating - not that I think there's anything wrong with present day San Francisco, one of my top 4 favorite cities in the world. If this were to be remade today ( a great idea they had in the podcast), I would love for it to be made as an 1880's western.

Another thing the guys brought up in the podcast which I found interesting was the film's use of Asian stereotypes. I don't think this movie is anywhere near as bad as what Hollywood has been giving us through the decades. You could make the case that Hollywood's historical treatment of Asians and Asian culture is beyond disgraceful and possibly worse than the treatment of any other race or ethnicity. At least this film gives Dennis Dun a role that is a strong Chinese-American costar who gets his girl back at the end. Aside from The Walking Dead's Glenn Rhee, you just don't get that from most Hollywood productions or American TV.

What was everyone else's reactions to this as either a first watch or a re-watch?


  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    That's am interesting point re: Asian portrayals. It's hard for me to say they've had it worse than blacks or native americans. And weirdly to my (admittedly white) eyes, most of the racist stereotypes Asians suffer from are either benign or positive. I mean, I'm sure it's just as annoying and dehumanizing to be seen as a list of generalizations before being seen as a real person, but it seems like being stereotyped as smart, educated, possibly mystical ninja is better than being stigmatized as ignorant, dishonest, lawless, drunk, etc.

    Although I could be way off, and saying something as potentially offensive as "date rape is at least better than stranger rape". Am I?
  • That's why I said possibly and you can make the case. I don't want to speak definitely without any actual stats. But actually, I don't see it the same way as you. While I am a fellow white male, my perception is a bit different. I think a lot of the stereotypes Asians suffer from are not so much as being smart or ninja-like, but qualities much uglier. Again, I know I'm brushing with broad strokes here, but I feel Asian men are usually depicted as effeminate, asexual, weak and/or simply clownish. Asian women seem to be mostly depicted as exotic sex dolls.

    That's why I thought it was so refreshing to have a guy like Dennis Dun in the film who's not just some weakling with a thick accent just shadowing the white guy lead. This was much different.

    I also feel there has been a much better effort from Hollywood to heal the wounds of all the terrible sins against African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities. I feel there hasn't been the same effort made for Asians and Asian-Americans yet until recently.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited December 2014
    Any opinion I have on Big Trouble in Little China is probably going to be horseshit considering my love for it runs so deep that I spent two hundred and fifty bucks to have the damn thing reviewed.

    But seriously, I subscribe to the theory that Asian's are stereotyped and mocked in American media more than any other race (and seemingly with impunity). On a recent episode of Joe Rogan's podcast, his guest David Choe expounds on Asian stereotypes in American media. He actually mentions Steven Yeun (Glenn from Walking Dead) and states that he's the only Asian guy in American tv/film history who's character has sex with a non-Asian girl. Probably not actually the only case, but the fact that it's rare enough to be stated as such speaks volumes.

    Here is a link to the JRE episode with Choe:

    ^^^The goods are at 26:30.

    Oh yeah, and one more thing, AntManBee... How dare you call a John Carpenter score "lousy"! Ha ha.
  • Haha!! Sorry, man. I guess it's not my thing. I do appreciate that he chose to make a more rock-oriented soundtrack in order to stay away from more stereotyping Asian sounds. Still not my thing.

    I was going to mention Choe's views on this, but I wasn't sure if he was too controversial of a guy to reference. He actually interviewed Steve on his own podcast and went on an epic rant about the aforementioned topic. It was much more intense than his Rogan appearance.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    Early Christmas present from one of my friends.

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