Today I would like to kick off a celebration of one of our most beloved action heroes who has become a symbol of badassery that all red blooded americans can be proud to claim as their own. That's right my friends, I'm speaking of the master of mullets himself, Mr. Kurt Russell. This fine biter of bullets and kicker of asses has starred in many action classics over the years, appearing alongside such action greats as Sylvester Stallone, Jack Palance, Val Kilmer, Mel Gibson, Robert DeNiro, and Ray Liota to name just a few. Casey and I intend to highlight some of our favorite selections over the coming weeks, starting with none other than his kung fu classic, Big Trouble in Little China.
I was 7 years old when this movie came out, and as I recall, it rocked my young world. Not only did the nasty orangutan monster scare me shitless, but this is one of the first films that made me realize how superior those who knew martial arts were to the rest of the candy ass world. The initial street battle between the two rival chinatown gangs which took place at a funeral of a fallen gang member (AKA one sweet backdrop for a battle) not only laid the foundation for future generations of triad inspired gangland battles (Lethal Weapon 4 anyone?) but was an inspired means to introduce the 3 elemental Kung Fu bosses, Thunder, Rain, and Lightning. These guys defined the term "antagonist" to my young mind, known to me then as "bad guys", and possessed skills which I would envy for years to come (about 23 additional years so far). Lightning bolts and swordplay; a match made in heaven.
Of course, Kurt Russell played his part to the T. The swarthy, rogue truck driver, Jack Burton, delivered a library of quotable one liners (see the title of this post) and pulled off the 'I just threw my knife at you which you threw back at me which I caught in mid air and hit you in the forehead with it' move of greatness. Stupid Lo Pan. All the while, Jack flirts with both disaster and a young Kim Cattrall to create a series of clever and memorable scenarios that serve to justify Jack's involvement in the whole green-eyed lady ordeal.
For those of you yet to see this movie, don't fret. This is not one of those flicks that seems stupid and childish if you never caught it in your youth. We here at Action Direct can more or less guarantee you'll thank us for the recommendation (unless you're a 1000 year old cursed chinese overlord who needs the blessing of Shin Dai to make you flesh again. Then you'll probably think the movie is a bit biased in its portrayal of the aforementioned chinese overlord. Also, you might be a chick). To those of you who have already seen it and are looking to rewatch it after being reminded of its greatness, say hi to Egg-chen for me.