Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - Plot Summary Poster


Showing all 7 items
Jump to:


  • A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

  • Truck driver Jack Burton arrives in Chinatown, San Francisco, and goes to the airport with his Chinese friend Wang Chi to welcome his green-eyed fiancée Miao Yin who is arriving from China. However she is kidnapped on the arrival by a Chinese street gang and Jack and Wang chase the group. Soon they learn that the powerful evil sorcerer called David Lo Pan, who has been cursed more than two thousand years ago to exist without physical body, needs to marry a woman with green eyes to retrieve his physical body and Miao is the chosen one. Jack and Wang team-up with the lawyer Gracie Law, the bus driver and sorcerer apprentice Egg Shen and their friends and embark in a great adventure in the underground of Chinatown, where they face a world of magicians and magic, monsters and martial arts fighters.

  • When trucker Jack Burton agreed to take his friend Wang Chi to pick up his fiancee at the airport, he never expected to get involved in a supernatural battle between good and evil. Wang's fiancee has emerald green eyes, which make her a perfect target for an immortal sorcerer named Lo Pan and his three invincible cronies. Lo Pan must marry a girl with green eyes so he can regain his physical form. Now, Jack must save Wang's fiancee from Lo Pan and his henchmen, and win back his stolen truck. But how can he defeat an enemy who has no body?

    Mr. X
  • When Jack Burton wins a card game against his long time friend Wang, Wang explains that he doesn't have Jack's earnings on him, and he'll pay Jack later, due to the fact that he has pick up his girlfriend at the airport. Seeing as how Jack wants his money as soon as possible, he offers to give Wang a ride to the airport. Unfortunately for the both of them, Wang's girlfriend is kidnapped, due to the fact that she is a chinese woman with green eyes, and in order for an immortal creature named David LoPan to turn back into a mortal human, he must marry her. Now it's up to Jack Burton, Wang, and their friends to save her before it's too late.

    Zack H.
  • Wang chi's girlfriend has been kidnapped because she has emerald green eyes and has been selected to be Lo Pan's (an immortal creature) wife. By marrying her, Lo Pan can now become mortal again. So it's up to Jack Burten, Egg Shen, Wong and his friends to save her before it's too late.

  • Somewhere in the 80s, trucker Jack Burton arrives in a small town to deliver his cargo and win a few bucks playing cards with the locals down at the Chinese market. Practically bankrupting nearly all of his opponents, his friend Wang bets him a game of "double or nothing" to try and regain his cash and loses. Jack wants his well earned money, but Wang explains he doesn't have the cash on him and that'll he pay later because he's due to pick up a long, lost girlfriend from the airport. Convinced Wang's pulling something sly, Jack insists he drive Wang to the airport so they can stick together. However, at the airport Wang's girlfriend is captured by the Lords of Death, a streetwise Chinatown gang. She is essential for an upcoming plan to revive a thousand year old Chinese sorcerer and bring him back to the world as a mortal again. So begins a daring adventure to rescue Wang's girl and stop the ruthless operation that's going on down in Little China. Teaming up with a cast of very different individuals, Jack and Wang delve deep into an uncovering conspiracy in which everything's not exactly as it seems. Here comes big trouble...


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) and his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) go to the San Francisco International Airport to pick up Wang's fiancee Miao Yin (Suzee Pai). While at the airport, a Chinese street gang (called the Lords of Death) kidnap Miao Yin and take her into Chinatown intent on selling her as a sex slave.

    Jack and Wang follow and in the back alleys of Chinatown they get caught in a gang battle when the Wing Kong interrupt a funeral procession the Chang Sing are having for their recently assassinated leader. During the street battle, powerful magicians in league with the Wing Kong, called "The Three Storms" (Thunder, Rain, and Lightning) use their supernatural powers to slaughter the Chang Sing. Trying to escape Jack runs over the Wing Kong's leader, the sorcerer Lo Pan (James Hong). However, Lo Pan is not harmed by this and Wang has to help Jack after he is temporarily blinded by Lo Pan's glowing eyes.

    Jack's truck is then stolen by the Lords of Death. Wang takes Jack to his restaurant 'The Dragon of the Black Pool', where they meet up with lawyer Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall), Wang's friend Eddie Lee (Donald Li) and Egg Shen (Victor Wong), a magician and local authority on Lo Pan who moonlights as a tour bus driver in Chinatown. They come up with a plan to infiltrate the brothel where they think Miao Yin is being held. Once inside Jack (in disguise), starts to question one of the girls, but is interrupted when the Storms crash in and make off with Miao Yin.

    Back in Gracie's apartment, they find that Miao Yin was taken to a place called The Wing Kong Exchange, a front for Lo Pan's domain. With Wang's assistance, Jack infiltrates the place and the two get caught in a lift that fills with water. After making their way out, Wang claims they're in "The hell of the upside-down sinners," and they are taken to a cell by Rain, who grabs Wang by the neck, and sends rubber balls to Jack's stomach with force.

    Afterwards, they are taken in wheelchairs to see Lo Pan (now in the form of a crippled old man), where he claims that Miao Yin is "Safer with me than any creature on this Earth", after telling them of his intent. Lo Pan catches Gracie, Eddie, and Gracie's journalist friend Margo entering the building on his security monitor, and sends Thunder to deal with them. Wang and Jack are taken back to their cell, still in the wheelchairs, when Wang tells Jack about the 2,000 year old legend of Lo Pan; that he was cursed to roam the Earth in a ghost-like form until he can marry a special kind of girl. They break free from the wheelchairs, but hearing Thunder return, they get back into the wheelchairs and put their blindfolds back on. Thunder hangs Eddie up by the collar of his jacket, and Jack jumps Thunder, who manages to push Jack off of him and into his wheelchair, sending him back down the ramp, and nearly into a deep well. Wang and Eddie make a diversion so Jack can rescue the imprisoned girls and get out safely.

    Upon reaching the front entrance, Gracie is caught by a monster, and taken to Lo Pan. Both Gracie and Miao Yin tame "The Burning Blade" and Lo Pan decides to marry both and sacrifice Gracie, and live out his 'Earthly Pleasures' with Miao Yin. Wang and Jack go to see Egg Shen, and, with the help of the Chang Sings, go into an underground cavern, and eventually into Lo Pan's offices.

    Egg gives the group a potion that Jack says makes him feel 'kind of invincible', and when the group get to the ceremony, a huge fight ensues (which Jack inadvertently manages to miss, due to being knocked out with rubble when he fires his gun above his head), with Wang killing Rain in an elegant sword fight. Jack and Gracie head back to the offices to try and catch Lo Pan, the spell having been broken. Wang joins them, and takes on Thunder, while Jack takes on Lo Pan, throwing his knife at him, which embeds into his skull. Thunder sees this and, enraged and dishonored at his failure to protect his Master, starts to inflate to an enormous size without stopping, exploding and killing himself. Jack, Wang, Gracie and Miao Yin are cornered by Lightning in a corridor, which he makes collapse. Egg manages to rescue them by sending down a rope from a hole above them, which Lightning tries climb in order to follow, with Egg throwing down a statue which crushes him.

    They find Jack's truck and make their escape back to The Dragon of the Black Pearl restaurant. With Lo Pan defeated, Egg decides to go on vacation saying China is in the heart, and Jack hits the open road, with an unknown-to-him stowaway.... one of the remaining monsters.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed