Some movies stand out as classic and unique, up until one sees that they might have been inspired by other movies in some way or perhaps managed to inspire other ideas that came along afterward. Big Trouble in Little China is one among many movies that’s kind of campy, a little ridiculous, but pure awesome to those that have come to enjoy what it has to offer. From the simple and witty humor to the mythological aspect of it, the movie is one of those that a lot of people can’t help but laugh at when it comes to certain scenes while realizing how awesome other scenes were for the time period. Plus, the acting is kind of silly in some areas but it’s still enough fun that one can’t help but forgive a lot of the mistakes and moments that are kind of cringe-worthy at times. The overall experience is great enough that a lot of people have watched the movie multiple times, and to be fair, some have watched it often enough to quote every line verbatim.
Here are a few movies that are similar to Big Trouble in Little China.
5. Escape from New York
It could be said that this movie served as a bit of inspiration for Big Trouble simply because it came first and thrust Kurt Russell into a world that he didn’t fully understand but was able to adapt to in order to survive. When Snake is dropped into the middle of Manhattan, which has become a prison island, he’s charged with finding the president of the United States in a given amount of time before the explosive supposedly set into his neck explode. When the task is finished he ends up escaping and making the POTUS look like a fool after figuring that he’s been double crossed. Good old Snake and Jack Burton might get along just fine.
4. They Live
One of the biggest parallels to pull from this is that the aliens in this movie are hiding in plain sight, much like David Lo Pan is doing in Big Trouble since he’s seen as a beggar on the streets, as a wrinkled and decrepit old man in a wheelchair, and yet is far more powerful than he appears. As far as anything else goes, the other similarities have to do with the fighters that are seeking to take down Lo Pan and his army before all is lost. The big difference here is that in Big Trouble, a lot of people are aware of the problem, they just choose to ignore it, while in They Live, no one has a clue about what’s going on.
3. In the Mouth of Madness
Seriously, if you really need to be told why these movies are similar you might need to watch them again. The act of crossing over from the world as it’s known to pretty much everyone and into the madness that exists just beyond is something that many people think about. This kind of makes one think that the reality we cling to so much is a thin veneer that’s just waiting to be ripped aside, or perhaps turned like a page to reveal the chaos that’s waiting on the other side. It’s silly to some folks who believe that they have a good grip on reality, but to some, it’s an interesting thought and kind of creepy.
Madmartigan is a little bit like Jack Burton in that he’s cocky, headstrong, and definitely arrogant. But this story is a classic that a lot of people have forgotten about over the years. While it does use magic, it’s not utilized in the same way that Big Trouble manages to display. Both movies have to do with a quest, and while Willow’s is far longer and changes geographical locations more often, Big Trouble is still a quest given that it takes the protagonists from one world, theoretically, into another that many didn’t even believe existed at one point, in the story at least. Plus, both have reluctant heroes that don’t want to get involved at first.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
By now it should be clear that traveling from one world to another is a huge theme when it comes to Big Trouble and the similarities that it shares with other movies. One of the greatest parts of any fantasy movie is the travel from one world to the next, even if it’s just a matter of seeing beyond what’s in front of a person’s face and realizing that there’s so much more to life than they realized. With the Pirates movies, the next world has always been over the horizon, wherein Big Trouble it’s simply a matter of opening one’s eyes to the truth that’s right in front of them.
Just remember what ol’ Jack always says, “What the hell.”