Quote: "Big Trouble in Little China was one of those films where Jack Burton is a buffoon but he’s lovable and you’re with him the entire way. I thought Thor has got to be the one you want to be with in every scene."
It’s hard to overstate how much this excites me. Big Trouble in Little China had a huge formative effect on me as a kid, and later as an adult struggling to become an artist. I often describe my debut novel The Odds as an extended ode to Big Trouble in Little China. John Carpenter’s 1986 classic, from a script by geek maestro W.D. Richter, follows a bumbling hero through a bizzarro underworld where he encounters an array of supernatural creatures from eastern myth—or at least some riff on eastern myth.
In any event, the spirit of Big Trouble in Little China is alive and well in Thor: Ragnarok’s trailer, which came close to breaking the Internet this week. Not only does the movie feel like Big Trouble, but it looks a lot like it too. For kicks, I assembled this series of visual comparisons. Some are a reach, while others—Thor bound to a chair, peering down the length of his body at some unknown horror or madness—is the clearest shout-out, I’d argue. I also sense a visual connection between Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster and David Lo-Pan, though I don't mean to suggest Goldblum is in any kind of "yellowface" for the role. If you feel differently, please let me know.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a visual counterpart to the following image from Big Trouble in Little China, but for all our sakes, let's hope Thor: Ragnarok includes one.
Also ... is it getting hot in here?
It's all in the reflexes. Thanks for reading!