Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
Big Trouble in Little China
Terribly confusing action-comedy, set in and under San Francisco's Chinatown. ("You know what this is?" poses an eye-witness news reporter, not too helpfully. "This is like some radical Alice in Wonderland.") Not just the mumbo-jumbo about Chinese black magic, about the Lords of Death versus the Wing Kong, about Lo Pan and the Girl With Green Eyes, is confusing. The actual action, heavy on kung-fu and special effects, is hard to follow also. (Director John Carpenter has perhaps slipped a bit there, but he has remained at the same level on the numbingly monotonous music he insists on composing himself as accompaniment.) Kurt Russell, though, provides several kinds of reassurance as a rough-and-ready American trucker ("I was born ready"), who talks at a consistently tanked-up volume, who leads with his stubbled chin, and who never loses confidence in the face of countless small defeats and humongous marvels. 1986.
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- Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 39 minutes