Originally Posted by javyn
Right Tokyo, Kurt Russell and John Carpenter joked about that on the commentary. People didn't seem to get that the hero and sidekick roles were reversed also. Hell, when I first saw the movie I didn't catch that either, but I still thought it was fresh and hilarious...then and even now. Of course, I realized that Jack Burton was the hero, and a complete dumbass...but it never hit me Wang was actually the hero role.
Yeah, the movie is a purposeful hash-up of all the Campbell stereotypes. To be honest, the character arcs for Burton and Wang are sort of confusing, and the first time I watched it (as an adult) I didn't really realize that Burton has no actual motivation and is "merely along for the ride" until the final scene at the Dragon Of The Black Pool when he just leaves Gracie Law haging. He wasn't involved to rescue her, he was involved to help Wang rescue Miao Yin. His character arc is practically a flatline, he doesn't better himself, his situation, or grow/change as a person at all during the course of the movie, a sure sign that the hero is somewhere else. I love John Carpenter.