Big Trouble in Little China
Kurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco's Chinatown. An ancient Chinese prince and Chinatown crime lord has kidnapped a beautiful green-eyed woman, who is the fiancee to Jack's best friend. Jack must help his friend rescue the girl before the evil Lo Pan uses her to break the ancient curse that keeps him a fleshless and immortal spirit.
Writer: W.D. Richter, Gary Goldman, David Weinstein
Director: John Carpenter
Producer: James Lew, Paul Monash, Jim Lau, Keith Barish, Larry J. Franco
Cast: Kate Burton, Kim Cattrall, Kurt Russell, Victor Wong, James Hong, Dennis Dun, Suzee Pai
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OK, Barry Sonnenfeld, you're forgiven.
The director of "Get Shorty" and "Men in Black," Sonnenfeld really stumbled with his last movie, "Wild Wild West" a cinematic failure so monumental that it nearly overshadowed his previously bright career moves.
But he's come back in a big way with "Big Trouble," a dark comedy so tightly paced that its 85-minute length unimaginably brief for a modern live-action feature flies by.
There's a lesson in this film that develops so many interesting and likable characters in such a short time, when so many bloated, 2 1/2-hour pictures can't even manage to develop one at twice the length.
"Big Trouble" will appeal to fans of columnist Dave Barry's offbeat humor; the film is based on his first fictional work, a cheeky little novel about a Florida newspaper columnist who gets into big trouble.
Tim Allen stars as Eliot Arnold, the columnist, who is rather unceremoniously dumped from his job at a major Miami newspaper. Eliot also manages to get himself involved with Anna Herk (Rene Russo), the unhappy wife of crooked businessman Arthur Herk (Stanley Tucci).
That's a rather odd coincidence because their children his son Matt (Ben Foster) and her daughter Jenny (Zooey Deschanel) are classmates and may be getting involved with each other as well.
But all four become hostages of a pair of bungling ex-cons (Tom Sizemore and Johnny Knoxville) who have come into possession of a thermonuclear device. Meanwhile, the wild card in all this may be Puggy (Jason Lee), the gentle, wild-maned traveler who's been camping out in the Herks' spacious back yard.
There's a whole lot more to the film, both in terms of plot twists and character developments. But suffice to say, it's been assembled very well by Sonnenfeld, whose work here is less stylized than usual. And the script actually captures the irreverence and spirit of Barry's humor without making changes that are too radical.
Free from having to carry the picture for a change, Allen is more relaxed and more likable than he's been onscreen in a long time. But the rest of the ensemble cast put in bids to steal the movie including Deschanel as a wisecracking teen, Patrick Warburton as a hunky but dimwitted cop and Dennis Farina as an exasperated killer-for-hire.
"Big Trouble" is rated PG-13 for violence (gunplay, beatings and explosive mayhem), frequent use of strong profanity and some crude slang terms, some drug content (hallucinogenic venom) and a brief, discreet sex scene. Running time: 85 minutes.
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgApril 5th, 2002 · Details