This is why I love to rewatch Carpenter: "Big Trouble" was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. Then I grew up and somehow I put it along Carpenter's medium-quality movies. And now, having realised throughout film school what cinema really is, I understand how Carpenter is the ultimate auteur: every frame of his movies breathe his signature, even this one, where he makes fun of his own moral codes. Masterpiece.
Rewatched this for its 28th anniversary. Holy shit is it more amazing than I remember it being. Kurt Russell is a hero but he's mainly there for the quips and color commentary. He's who the American audiences relate to but can't compete with the mystical culture shock. This isn't merely a cult classic. I'm imagining Chris Pratt's character in Guardians of the Galaxy being modeled after Jack Burton. Brilliant.