I love Big Trouble in Little China, it’s one of my favorite movies. Immensely quote-able, fantastically choreographed, phenomenal set design– if you haven’t watched this film yet, go do so now. It’s on Netflix Instant, you have no excuse.
It’s also a fantasy film, as you see in that opening clip. All sorts of Chinese magics come into play: spirits, monsters, curses, wuxia. Related to that, it has a great conceit where your POV character, a trucker named Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell), is not the hero of the story, and also has no idea what’s going on. The title of this post comes from one of his lines right at the end of the first act: “Now, I’m a reasonable guy, but I’ve just experienced some very unreasonable things.” He has a hard time believing what has just happened, namely, a group of Chinese demigods called the Three Storms crashing through the roof of a brothel and spiriting a major character away. And yes, if you saw that in real life, that would be pretty incredible. But you’re watching a movie. You believe that it happened within the context of that movie. Ever wonder why?
Why do we believe a man can fly?