Jack Burton vs. Snake Plissken

One question that I always find myself thinking about is who would win in a fight: Jack Burton or Snake Plissken. Every time I’m watching Big Trouble in Little China, I think, “Oh, Jack would totally win”, but then I’ll watch Escape from New York/L.A. and I think to myself, “What am I crazy?! Snake could definitely take Jack!” I know some of you may be thinking, “Heather, how does one choose which Kurt Russell is superior?” So let’s break it down:

Their Mission:

Jack Burton, a sort of doofy truck driver, has to rescue two green eyed ladies from the clutches of the creepy David Lo Pan.

Snake Plissken, a former war hero turned criminal, has to enter into the heavily guarded maximum-security prison of Manhattan in order to rescue the President.

Even though Snake has a huge job of saving the President and making sure he gets to the super important summit meeting, Jack gets the babes.

Weapon(s) of Choice:

Jack uses both a TEC-9 and a knife that he so cleverly keeps in his boot.

Snake uses everything from modified Mac-10s, .357 Magnums and throwing stars.

Obviously, Snake. His time in the war gave him an extensive knowledge of how to handle different varieties of weapons and he does not hesitate to use them.

Skill Level:

I think the only real shot Jack actually landed was when he threw his little knife into Lo Pan’s head. (It's all in the reflexes.)

Again, Snake is a military man who mows down anyone in his path.

Snake. I wonder how that makes Jack feel losing to a guy with only one eye.


Jack has Wang, who despite his size has insane martial art skills.

Snake has Cabbie, whose name says it all, he drives a cab.

Jack. While Cabbie is sitting around complaining, Wang is kung fu fighting and he is fast as lightning.

Bad Guy:

Jack has to go up against David Lo Pan, an ancient magician who shoots light from his mouth and has really long fingernails.

Snake has the Duke of New York, who basically rules the entire city.

Snake. Not only does the Duke run the whole city, but also Isaac Hayes plays him. As in Shaft, can ya dig it?


Jack has the Chang Sing, who are a group of martial arts experts, and the old wizard Egg Shen.

Snake has Brian and his girlfriend.

Jack. Brian talks a big game about knowing the layout of the minefield on the bridge, and then proceeds to blow his own ass up on one; Egg has a Six-Daemon Bag and potions.


Jack has to deal with the Wing Kong, more kung-fu guys; the “Three Storms”, who are just supernatural martial arts guys; the Lords of Death, a Chinese street gang; and a variety of other monsters and a floating mass of eyeballs.

Snake has the Crazies, the sewer dwellers who are much like C.H.U.Ds; a big bald wrestler dude; and oh yeah, an entire island filled with violent prisoners.

Snake. Jack may have had all the weird magic stuff to deal with, but Snake has to deal with C.H.U.Ds and no one wants that.

Mode of Transportation:

Jack has his trusty semi the Pork Chop Express.

Snake has the fancy Gull Flyer, which is a super stealthy plane.

Jack. Snake’s plane may be cool, but Jack’s baby can hit 6.5 on the Richter scale.


Jack’s got the 80’s jeans with a Buddha/snake/sun tank top.

Snake’s goes for the more subtle black tank top and what looks like snake skin leggings.

Snake. Seriously, those babies are tight.


Jack does the best he can to keep it together under unreasonable circumstances.

Snake answers everyone who says that they thought he was dead with the oh so emo response of “I AM dead.”

Snake. How can you argue with that kinda conviction?


Jack has some pretty sweet one-liners, “Son of a bitch must pay!”

Snake not only escaped from New York, but L.A. as well.

Snake. He’s one tough cookie.

Overall: Sorry, Jack, but it looks like Snake may have just swept the floor with ya.

So, there we have it. Based on these statistics, it looks like Snake could totally take Jack in a fight. Do you agree? Let me know!


  1. Classic John Carpenter! It is difficult to pick a favorite between these two Kurt Russel roles, but Big Trouble in Little China my favorite by the tiniest of margins. Biggest badass is Snake though, agree.

    1. Right?! I thought about this quite a lot haha


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