Saturday, October 15, 2011

Big Trouble in Little China. C-

Big Trouble in Little China isn't a good movie, and in its failure shows the major weakness of John Carpenter: he doesn't really understand the craft of character. He gets just about everything else, but often fails to give us fully developed characters. When the movie is otherwise good we often overlook this flaw. But when he comes up short, it is painfully obvious. Big Trouble in Little China is like that. The movie is a scam. Carpenter has made a cheap 80s video game, complete with silly effects, a laughable story, creatures designed to be exploded, and a central character without a brain. How does he survive without one? He doesn't need to, because it's a video game. The movie does have a star, Kurt Russell, and a young kid might find delight in it the same way he would relish watching his friend fight through the levels of the latest computer game. But for older viewers, it's a serious bore. Carpenter simply never gives us a reason to keep watching.

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