July 2, 2016

A Tribute to Jack Burton

Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China starring Kurt Russell.

Plott: Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco’s Chinatown. An ancient Chinese prince and Chinatown crime lord has kidnapped a beautiful green-eyed woman, who is the fiancee to Jack’s best friend. Jack must help his friend rescue the girl before the evil Lo Pan uses her to break the ancient curse that keeps him a fleshless and immortal spirit.



After 30 years it remains one of the most quotable movies of Russell’s career; what’s so great about Jack is that he is actually a bit crap. He never knows what’s going on and spends most of the movie asking questions while everyone else tells him what to do. When it was first released Big Trouble in Little China wasn’t a massive hit but over the years it has garnered a huge cult following on home video.

Some of Jack’s best quotes:

  • I’m not saying I’ve been everywhere and I’ve done everything. But I do know this is a pretty amazing planet we live on here. And a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we’re all alone in this universe.
  • Like I told my last wife, I said “Honey, I never drive faster than I can see. Besides that, it’s all in the reflexes.”
  • Just remember what old Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says “Give me your best shot. I can take it.”
  • When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye, and asks you if you paid your dues; you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail.”
  • Which Lo Pan? Little ol’ basket case on wheels, or the ten-foot-tall roadblock?!
  • Would you stop rubbing your body up against mine? Because I can’t concentrate when you do that…
  • What does that mean? huh? ‘China is here?’ I don’t even know what the hell that means! All I know is this Lo Pan character comes from out of thin air in the middle of a goddamned alley, while his buddies are flying around on wires, cutting everybody to shreds…and he just stands there, waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him?! With LIGHT coming out of his mouth?!
  • Sit tight, hold the fort, keep the home fires burning. And if we’re not back by dawn…call the president.
  • Where’d you get that?
  • Everybody relax, I’m here.
  • Ol’ Jack always says…what the hell?.

The remake starring Dwayne Johnson is sadly still coming but not to worry as all that will do is encourage more people to watch the original classic. Happy 30th Jack!

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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