|The Adventure Wasn't Bad|
This is a truly underrated film in my opinion. It’s true that the storyline wasn’t the greatest and drags here and there, some of the acting is awful, and the special effects are horribly primitive. But considering that this was made in the 80’s and on a shoestring budget, you have to give them credit that at the heart and soul that this film possesses.
Based on the long running Destroyer pulp fiction novels which were like James Bond with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon thrown in and shaken, not stirred. What hurts this movie the most I think is the quality of bad guys. Grove (Charles Cioffi) seemed like a pretty corrupt businessman but not the sort of world-class threats that Remo faced off against in the novels.
It’s sad but Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins simply can’t match the bigger budget James Bond films of this era so it seems weaker but in truth, the characters of Remo Williams (Fred Ward) and Chiun (Joel Gray) were some of the sharpest, wittiest, and best performances that I can remember and what truly makes this movie shine. Fred Ward is a much better actor than most people give him credit for and Joel Gray was so over-the-top in his performance as a cheerfully misogynist, racist, soap opera loving martial artist/assassin whose one-liners are some of the funnier gags in the film.
Their interactions are some of the funniest and most memorable bits that I can recall as are their training montages. I still chuckle when Chiun suddenly pulls a gun and fires it point blank at Remo who dodges at the last second and then arrogantly strolls away when Chiun recocks it and Remo to remark, "You used the other bullets yesterday," and nearly get his head blown off and Chiun tucking the gun away and remarking blandly, "I reloaded."
The special effects were fairly well done in my opinion, although it could have definitely been improved here and there. Some of the martial arts stunts were nicely executed but didn’t really seem to push the boundaries of superhuman ability. I will say that the Statue of Liberty stunts were definitely excellent and kept me fairly interested and Remo’s confrontation with the smartest group of dogs was entertaining at the very least.
The fact is that it’s clear that the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s spoofing spy and thriller films and contains sufficient comedy and action to entertain me. It’s a heartedly enjoyable flick and I also liked it enough that it introduced me to the Destroyer series which I actually started reading whenever I could find the novels afterwards. I always thought it was a darn shame that the Adventure Never Continued.
|Name||Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins|
|US Release||Oct. 11, 1985|
|AUS Release||Feb. 13, 1986|
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|Alias(es)||Remo Williams: The First Adventure
Remo Williams: Unarmed and Dangerous