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Soul-sucking nostalgia for $$$, The Big Trouble in Little China remake

Big Trouble in Little China may be one of the most underrated movies of all time.  While the plot and script is ridiculous, it's all delivered so effortlessly by Kim Cattrall and Kurt Russell that you have to love the hell out of the original.  Which is why I'm not sure about a remake...

Whenever Hollywood attempts to squeeze my nostalgia for some more dollars I always end up stuck between genuine excitement and trepidation.  I was stuck in that emotional whirlpool only recently when I watched the trailer for the Point Break remakeWhile the original is one of my top five all-time-favourite-movies, the trailer for the remake appears to keep the character and movie names, and nothing else of any actual merit from the original movie.  So the announcement for a Big Trouble in Little China remake has me cringing.

Big Trouble in Little China was carried by the casting and the fact that it didn't try to be anything other than a classic 80's action movie. It's not safe, or politically correct, it's not trying to appeal to anyone other than true action fans and a PG13 recreation of it will almost certainly have none of that flavour. This is a feeling only made worse by the fact that the remake will star and be produced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (hear me out).

Firstly, I love The Rock.

Dwayne (while being contested by Vin Diesel) is absolutely this generations action hero, but everything he does feels like it has been consciously packaged in such away that it can safely be marketed to his starting fanbase, 13 year old wrestling fans.

My action heroes were (and still are) people like Arnold Schwarzneggar and Sylvester Stallone.  While they also did movies like Kindergarten Cop and Stop or My Mom Will Shoot to appeal to younger audiences, their real action roles were built specifically for adults. I struggle to think of a movie that Dwayne's done that has the grit, flavour and feeling of something like Terminator 2, or Rambo 3, action movies that didn't attempt to cater to absolutely everybody but instead to a loyal niche.

Dwayne's action movies are always safe, they straddle that divide of being shot first for kids and then adults with consequence-free violence, which is ridiculous, because there's no such thing.  In short Dwayne movies vs 80's action movies, feel like the difference between WWE wrestling and MMA fighting.

Does that mean that Big Trouble in Little China will suck? In Dwayne's defense it's not actually an excessively violent movie, it doesn't have that kind of grit that even movies like Commando had. From that point of view Dwayne would actually make a fine fit.  Where it comes apart is that Big Trouble in Little China was a ridiculous action movie, and the fact that it was ridiculous is actually what made it great.  I don't think today's audiences and movie execs will allow it to retain that silly over-the-top feeling, and with Dwayne's name attached to the project, you know it's going to be as commercial a venture as possible.

Here's to hoping I'm wrong.


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