Tor’s got a blog up today about Big Trouble in Little China.
I thought this movie was cheesy when I first saw it, but Brother was hooked, and soon I was, too.
We ended up watching it over and over and over and over again as we grew up, and I grew to love it. It’s campy and silly and fun and magical and high stakes and just an all out laugh out loud romp with non-perfect characters and crazy tropes and just FUN from the beginning to the end.
I liked Gracie, the smart, bossy, know-it-all woman who was a lawyer. (Who’d’a thunk, right? I mean, I’m the oldest, a girl, who grew up to be a lawyer. Hush it on the know-it-all connection. At ten, I’m sure I was exactly that!) But now, as an adult, and as a writer, I know I’d have more fun writing Jack Burton than Gracie, whose reactions were always predictable and stereotypical. Jack was larger than life, and took over every inch of the screen every time his character even breathed in the direction of it.
I guess that’s the lesson to take away from this movie, as a writer. Don’t just write the character that feels familiar. Write the character that feels unfamiliar. Get inside their skin. Because as cheesy and as campy as Jack Burton was, Kurt Russell pulled it off. That’s the challenge to a writer.
Oh…and for the unenlightened…or just the Jack Burton fans…here you go…