se13an’s review published on Letterboxd:
Its All in the Reflexes
Its been a surprising while since I last saw this and I am still amazed at how good, subversive and fun this movie is. The performances are great, it is one of Kurt Russell’s best because he is perfect as the blowhard who is totally out of his depth but he gets upstaged by James Hong in his best. It is fantastic candy colored thrill ride, a xuxia movie transplanted in America with more fire arms. I love all the little roles here from Gerald Okamura and Al Leong giving it the gold standard for American martial arts action movies, to Jerry Hardin, I’d love to think he was the same character from X-Files trying to harness Victor Wong’s powers for the government to Kim Cattrall. My favorite minor character is of course the shaggy demon, it is like giving a ginger mogwai all the steroids and letting it loose. It is a better looking Beast Man than the Beast Man in the Masters of the Universe movie. Everybody in the movie has a great role and gives a great performance. The movie is fast and light, a great afternoon movie to relax to. This was my first John Carpenter movie in the early 90s when it had a reputation slightly above radioactive waste which proves that people in the 80s had no taste. I think I still have the Roger Ebert’s movie guide where he gives this 1 star and calls it crap. Of all John Carpenter’s movies this is the one I think that got the biggest turn around from the worst movie of all time to one of his greatest. I think it is probably my 3rd all time, yes before Halloween because I love how different it is, how weird and wild, and it has a great soundtrack. I love Halloween, probably one of my favorite slasher movies but I like this a little more. It really is a testament to the man that Halloween is number 4 in my opinion and I think it is one of the all time great movies. Number 1 is the Thing, Number 2 is the Fog and this is 3. I do like it didn’t do well at first because it kept it from having a hundred sequels made of it and by that diluting its novelty. It is an amazing slice of 80s HK fantasy action that was made in America where the America is the loudest character but Dennis Dun is clearly the hero.