Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon
I was curious about this old live-action adaptation of the Golgo 13 manga, made back when it was less than a decade old and there had been no anime versions. There was a confusing preview at the start, which I hoped was for another movie since the quality wasn't impressive. The dub--the original, Japanese one--was clearly rather sloppy even though I don't speak the language; it really sounded like something out of a cheap 70's film, which I guess was only to be expected. The subtitles left a good deal to be expected, too; lines like "But with me you are not that easy to escape" made it clear that the translators were not exactly fluent English speakers. The cinematography was obviously second or third rate, and it's poor quality made it distinctly more difficult to follow the story. Around halfway through I largely abandoned trying to completely understand the plot. The preview had demonstrated that gratuitous violence was to be expected; the fight scenes were unimpressive, sometimes tiresome. An attempt was made to inject a dose of martial arts action into the story, though as far as I know Duke Togo (Golgo) isn't an expert in that. Duke seems to kill ten common punks for each professional target; the way he took out one opponent was so absurd that it had me laughing. There were no particularly neat trick shooting scenes. The most critical factor was how well the movie would carry over the unusual style of the inscrutable Golgo 13. It was difficult to take a live-action person seriously in the role, but Sonny Chiba did a decent job. Overall the spirit that was evident in the various anime adaptations was largely absent. One amusing thing was how laughably outdated the "high-tech" equipment used by the characters was; VCRs must have been considered amazing in those days. In short, only a Golgo 13 afficionado would want to see this one. But given that that's what I am, I don't regret watching it and even had a bit of a smirk on my face at the end. Less wholesale gunplay and more of the manga style would have been a good idea, though.|
My favorite line: "You think you are Dirty Harry?"
Last updated Wednesday, August 06 2008. Created Wednesday, August 06 2008.