After the guts and grit of their earlier ventures (Escape From New York; The Thing), Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter hook up for a lighter, if equally actionful, fantasy caper that pitches Russell's rugged truck driver into the supernatural gang war raging in San Francisco's Chinatown. Kim Cattrall is the nosy lawyer who finds herself swept up in the typhoon of organised crime, martial arts and black magic. Bustling with energy and bravado, it's essentially the cult cousin to Indiana Jones.
John Carpenter's spoof of an Indiana Jones-style adventure boasts some spectacular action and inventive fantasy sequences.
Kurt Russell does a reprise of the John Wayne accent that served him so well in Escape from New York, but looks faintly harassed, as well he might, as a philosophising trucker, played as a cross between a swaggering Wayne, adventurous Harrison Ford and wacky Bill Murray.
Virtually every Asian actor in Hollywood appears to have been signed up for this story of kidnap and Triad gangs, crossed with a black fantasy about a seven-foot tall Chinese magician controlling an evil empire deep beneath San Francisco's Chinatown district.
Carpenter has more success composing the music for the film, which is rousing stuff.