Viking Night: Big Trouble in Little China
By Bruce Hall
July 12, 2011
I’ve had this dream bouncing around in my head for a while. It’s a crazy dream, but when you imagine something normal they don’t call it a “dream”. They call it an “idea”, and believe me, this is far more than just an “idea”. I have given my crazy dream a name, and that name is “Mount Studdmore." That’s right, go ahead - fish your mind out of the gutter while I explain. The dream involves carving out the back of Mount Rushmore to honor the greatest movie action heroes of all time. Aha...you were going to laugh at me but now your mind is literally racing with possibilities, isn’t it? Steve McQueen, John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Bruce Lee...the list of deserving badasses is potentially endless. But there’s only so much room up there, so who should be chosen, and how big should their faces be? I don’t pretend to have the answers - I just gave birth to the dream. However, I do have one modest suggestion.
Choosing four presidents everyone can love seems a lot harder than narrowing the field of great action stars down to just a few - but let’s agree to leave out the muscle men, shall we? No Arnold, no Sly, no Van Damme. There’s no question these men have entertained us over the years, but a soulless smirking meat-sack is not worthy of an honor such as this. Mount Studdmore is reserved for heroes who inspired us, who gave us hope and who took up the fight for the little guy. They bleed, they suffer and sometimes they even shed a single, badass tear. But they always come out on top - because there is right and wrong in this world, and someone has to stand up for it. So here’s to the Army and the Navy and the battles they have won. Here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run. Here’s to Kurt Russell. And here’s to his greatest creation: Jack Burton.
Jack Burton is a simple man; a truck driver who earns his living on the open road and makes his home under the stars. And like all great men, he lives by just a few simple rules. Always pay your dues, never drive faster than you can see, and never turn your back on your friends. But trust is hard to come by in this world, so friends are something Jack doesn’t have many of. One of them is Wang Chi (Dennis Dun), an old pal Jack drops in on whenever he’s in Chinatown.
This time as the two men catch up over beers, Jack learns that Wang is set to be married to Miao Yin, a beautiful Chinese woman blessed with the rarity of jade green eyes. After a night of heavy gambling and even heavier drinking, the boys head to the airport to pick up Miao, only to see her kidnapped by a ruthless mob of Chinese gangsters. Determined to help his friend, Jack bitterly utters the immortal words that I would have tattooed across my chest, if I weren’t so afraid of needles: “Son of a bitch must pay.”