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Big Trouble In Little China

Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American fantasy martial arts comedy film directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, and James Hong. The film tells the story of Jack Burton, who helps his friend Wang Chi rescue Wang’s green-eyed fiancée from bandits in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They go into the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown, where they face an ancient sorcerer named David Lo Pan, who requires a woman with green eyes to marry him in order to release him from a centuries-old curse. Although the original screenplay by first-time screenwriters Gary Goldman and David Z. Weinstein was envisioned as a Western set in the 1880s, screenwriter W.D. Richter was hired to rewrite the script extensively and modernize it. The studio hired Carpenter to direct the film and rushed Big Trouble in Little China into production so that it would be released before a similarly themed Eddie Murphy film, The Golden Child, which was slated to come out around the same time. The project fulfilled Carpenter’s long-standing desire to make a martial arts film. The film was a commercial failure, grossing $11.1 million in North America, below its estimated $19 to $25 million budget. It received mixed reviews that left Carpenter disillusioned with Hollywood and influenced his decision to return to independent filmmaking. It has since become a cult classic and has an 82% average rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a steady audience on home video.

Plot

Big-talking rough-and-tumble truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) wins a bet with his restaurant owner friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun). To make sure he follows through on payment, Jack accompanies him to the airport to pick up Wang's Chinese fiancée Miao Yin (Suzee Pai).

A Chinese street gang, the Lords of Death, tries to kidnap another Chinese girl at the airport, who is being met by her friend Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall), intending to sell her as a sex slave. After Jack intervenes, they take Miao Yin by mistake.

Jack and Wang track the Lords of Death to the back alleys of Chinatown, where they find a funeral procession that quickly erupts into a tong war between the Chang Sing and Wing Kong, two ancient Chinese societies. When "The Three Storms" - Thunder, Rain, and Lightning, mighty warriors with weather-themed powers - appear, slaughtering the Chang Sing, Jack attempts to gun his big-rig through the crowd, but runs over David Lo Pan (James Hong), a decrepit man directing the Three Storms. Horrified, Jack exits his truck, but finds Lo Pan unfazed and glowing with magic. Wang hurriedly guides Jack through the alleys; the two escape the carnage and mayhem, but Jack's truck is stolen.

Wang takes Jack to his restaurant, where they meet up with Gracie, her journalist friend Margo, Wang's friend Eddie Lee (Donald Li), and magician Egg Shen (Victor Wong), a local authority on mysticism and Lo Pan. They try to explain to an incredulous Jack (who only wants his truck back) the ancient knowledge and sorcery the Chinese brought with them to America. The group devises a plan to infiltrate a brothel, where they believe Miao Yin is held. They break in with some difficulty, but are interrupted by the Storms tearing off the ceiling and making off with Miao Yin, taking her to their master Lo Pan. Jack and Wang track down the front business used by Lo Pan and impersonate electricians to gain access, but are quickly subdued by Rain. After being tied up and beaten by Thunder, the two meet Lo Pan - however, he now appears as a crippled old man.

Wang tells Jack that Lo Pan needs a special green-eyed girl to break an ancient curse, and he intends to sacrifice Miao Yin. Centuries ago, Lo Pan, a great warrior and even greater wizard, was defeated in battle by the first sovereign emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The Emperor cursed Lo Pan with incorporeality; although Lo Pan can be temporarily granted a decrepit body by supplication to the gods, he must marry a woman with green eyes to appease Ching Dai, the God of the East, and sacrifice her to satisfy the Emperor. When Jack and Wang's friends attempt to save them, they are also captured, and Lo Pan notes that Gracie has green eyes, too. Lo Pan decides to sacrifice Gracie, while making Miao Yin his unwilling wife. After getting the drop on Thunder, Jack and Wang escape, and free many women kept in holding cells in the process; a horrible orangutan-like monster recaptures Gracie before she leaves.

Wang and Jack regroup with the Chang Sing and Egg Shen, and as a group they enter an underground cavern to return to Lo Pan's headquarters. Egg pours each of the group a potent potion that Jack says makes him feel "kind of invincible". The group interrupts the wedding ceremony, which breaks out into a battle.

Jack accidentally knocks himself out by shooting a piece of the ceiling that falls on his head, and promptly is trapped under a suit of armor when he comes to. Wang kills Rain in a sword duel, while Jack and Gracie chase the newly-alive Lo Pan. Wang joins them, and just when all seems lost, Jack kills Lo Pan with a skillful knife throw. Thunder - who had been distracted with Wang - reappears, and, furious at finding Lo Pan dead, explodes. Jack, Wang, Gracie, and Miao Yin are cornered by Lightning in a corridor, who triggers a collapse with his powers. Egg rescues them with a rope and kills Lightning by dropping a stone Buddha statue on him when he tries to follow. After finding Jack's truck and dealing the remaining Wing Kong guards, the group busts out and escapes back to Wang's restaurant.

The group celebrates their victory in the restaurant with the rescued women; Wang and Miao prepare to marry, while Eddie pairs with Margo. Egg sets off on a long-due vacation - Jack suggests his homeland, but Egg says that China is in the heart. Jack, though attracted to Gracie, turns down an offer to stay and begins trucking again, not wanting to be tied down. Unbeknownst to him, the orangutan-like monster survived the battle in the labyrinth and has stowed away on his truck.

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