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June 01, 2015

So They're Remaking "Big Trouble In Little China," With Dwayne Johnson as Jack Burton

I like the Rock, but man, I just do not see him doing justice to the Jack Burton role. Which, I think, Kurt Russell played by doing a lunkheaded, Californian John Wayne impression.

I don't mind this remake, because the original was so flawed. Sure, everyone loves it, but the final fight is a huge letdown (Carpenter seems to think we're in the mood for silly self-parody, when in fact, no, we're buying into this fantasy and we want to see the Gold good guys beat up the Three Storms) and some bad pacing (remember that weird part where Burton gets into the warehouse by pretending to be a dork from the health department or something?).

And can anyone explain the actual plot? First, the old guy specifically needs a Chinese girl with green eyes to marry. This is a big thing, because it's rare. Then he runs into the Caucasian Kim Cattral and sees her green eyes, and he's like "Holy mackerel, I'll use her for my magic ritual too."

Um, green eyes aren't that rare in Caucasians. Are you just making these Ancient Magical Rituals up as you go, based on who you want to sleep with this hour?


And then he's like, "Oh, the ritual lets me marry both, and... something."

There's another problem. In the original, Jack Burton was really the comedic sidekick to that Chinese fella. (Forget his name -- Wing?) Burton thought he was the hero, but no, he was the goofy sidekick.

That was a pretty fun take back in nineteen eighty whatever.

But we've seen that take twice recently -- in the Green Hornet (Green Hornet the chubby bumbler, Kato the real hero) and the Lone Ranger (Lone Ranger the goofy sidekick, Tonto... well, also very goofy, but more capable).

Now that part of Big Trouble is pretty important, but can they make a movie where Dwayne Johnson isn't really the hero? And if they kept to the original, wouldn't it now see done-to-death as well as racially condescending?

They say, though, that you shouldn't remake great movies, which got it right, and caught lightning in a bottle. You'll wind up embarrassing yourself.

What you should remake, they say, is movies that could have been great but were flawed. So they could be improved.

Trouble is, while you could improve a lot of Big Trouble, you really can't improve the most important thing, which is Jack Burton, and Wing, and also a very ripe Kim Cattrall as a very funny heroine.

Eh, we'll see what we see.


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posted by Ace at 07:28 PM

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