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Golgo 13: The Professional
There's so much wrong and mindless about this movie that it's laughable. I was familiar with the premise of Golgo 13 by reputation among older anime fans, so I decided to sample this movie via rental from Netflix and I feel like I wasted 90 minutes of my life on this. The movie features titular assassin Duke Togo getting entangled in a corrupt business tycoon's plot of revenge when Togo gunned down his son when hired for the job. The whole feel for this movie is quite over-the-top with its very violent gun fights; confusing direction of plot; ridiculous action sequences where Duke survives ridiculously impossible dire situations and making very impossible gunshots that will make you flush your disbelief down the toilet; the tycoon baddie being fanatically obsessed with killing Duke and a completely irredeemable scumbag; and Duke screwing every attractive gal he comes across in several sex scenes (also be warned that there's a rape scene as well in this movie). Don't expect to connect with any of the characters either as they are either too shallow in personality for you to care about and/or just serve as meatbags for Duke to kill off when they try to kill him. Some folks could even find this movie to be quite sexist with the treatment and depiction of women within the movie and the said mentioned rape scene.|
The visuals to this movie are quite outdated compared to modern standards with its rough details and sparse colors, though this is forgivable considering the movie's age. And despite how ridiculous I found the believability of many of this movie's action scenes were, the movie does have some interesting animated scenes it delivers such as the first-person perspective of a bullet fired from Duke's sniper rifle as it is about to pump a hole into it's unlucky victim's head; a split screen shot of Duke and his unlucky foe getting shot; and what appears to be the earliest CG animation sequence rendered in an anime as several enemy helicopters try to gun down Duke during a later action scene. The third example is quite rough compared to what you can expect of CG animation from modern anime titles, but I was surprised that something like this was done in an early 80s anime title.
Beyond my praise for some of The Professional's animation methods though, the movie is otherwise a huge laughable mess of offensive content and over-the-top elements involving its characters and action scenes. Considering this is my first look into the Golgo 13 franchise, I think this will be my last look into it unless I get some very convincing arguments to consider venturing into other titles of the anime franchise otherwise.
Last updated Saturday, February 11 2012. Created Saturday, February 11 2012.
Golgo 13: The Professional
This is another Streamline Pictures classic anime which I hold in almost high regard. Why? It's one of the first animes that I've seen and introduced me pretty quickly to the ecchi side of anime. It pretty much caught me at awe when I first saw one of those scenes. On to the review.|
The story is about a guy named Duke Togo, otherwise known as Golgo 13, a professional assassin who apparently can make the impossible possible. He is one of (if not) the best in his line of "work". It begins with his first job which was to assassinate the son of Leonard Dawson, a very wealthy and powerful business tycoon. From there on, that job would be Togo's biggest problem because Dawson ends up getting the CIA and the U.S. Army to kill him. Now, you might be thinking, "Why should this Dawson guy go after the hired assassin? Shouldn't he go after the one who hired him?" Well, if you end up getting this title, you'll know soon enough.
Since this is an old anime, the animation is pretty dated. If you're used to seeing current anime like Naruto or Inuyasha, then this will throw you back some. It's during the time when CGI was rarely being used in anime. As a matter of fact, the CGI in Golgo 13 is what you might expect coming from this time. Since CGI was new, it was amazing to watch it at the time. Compared to most anime now, it's pretty lackluster and obviously to old for anyone who doesn't appreciate classics. Storywise, Golgo 13 is not to hard to comprehend. It's almost cut and dry but still it holds onto the mystery of why Leonard Dawson would go to such lengths of trying to kill Togo. Beyond that, Duke Togo stands out as this almost invincible killer who can take out anyone no matter the circumstances. A superhero that has physical limits, but ridiculously talented. To me, that would be a little too far fetched for any one character especially if the protagonist's world is set in reality. However, that's why I admire Golgo 13. When the stakes are high and he's backed into a corner, he manages to find a way to get out of his situation and still completing his job.
This anime I literally cherish in my collection. This would have ended up becoming a great live action movie (if it was done in the US instead of the Japanese live action version). Also, this title was obviously so good that not only did it have a sequel but also a TV series in Japan many years after the original. I believe that this is a timeless classic, amidst the copious amounts of blood and guts flying around. This certainly has a place in my top 10 anime. It should be in anyone's collection especially if there's any interest in assassin type anime.
Last updated Friday, July 04 2008. Created Friday, July 04 2008.
Golgo 13: The Professional
I seem to be the guy who fills in the gaps here at Mikomi/CAR by writing reviews about Anime which is just barely worth watching. A store was trying to get rid of the used VHS anime to make room for DVDs, so tapes were being sold at the rate of three-for-$10. I needed my Anime fix, but the selection was getting sparse, so I grabbed "The Professional". Before I got around to watching it I read a review on the internet which was so damning that I left the tape on my shelf for at least six months. Recently I came across some more reviews which were more merciful, and decided to give the movie a watch.|
I think Mike Toole at "Anime Jump!" discovered the secret of how to enjoy this film: treat it as a comedy. As he puts it, "that's the entertaining thing about Golgo 13: The Professional. It's completely f-----g crazy. It makes absolutely no sense." If I had been trying to take it seriously, I would have been offended by Golgo's unbelievable ability to escape from any threat, no matter how hopeless his situation appears, through luck and/or skill. But you can't take a movie seriously when it includes violence that can only be described as gratuitously gratuitous! Interspersed shots of a gunfight and a woman swimming nude, A dead man spinning in a chair and spraying blood in all directions, a child employed as an assasin, and best of all, the way Golgo finishes off one of Dawson's killers--I could only exclaim "Oh my God!"--while laughing.
I noticed right off that the style of animation was kind of neat, especially for a 1983 production, with all sorts of exotic camera angles, split-screen action, unusual charachter designs, an early example of computer graphics, etc. The Professional is based on a Manga by Takao Saito which has been in publication since around 1970, and the artwork of the movie is said to be faithful to the comics. Having never seen the Manga, I was uncertain whether Golgo 13 was supposed to be a "good guy" or not--he kills a Mafia godfather and a Nazi war criminal, but until near the end of the film his victim Robert Dawson seemed a kind, innocent man who Golgo couldn't possibly have had a justifiable reason to assasinate. It turns out he does, however, in one of several bizarre plot twists contained in the film. It's not easy to like this guy--as Leonard Dawson himself puts it, "If only I were like you--devoid of human sentiment". He's as skillful and dangerous as James Bond, but totally lacks the charm. However, whereas Togo is totally inscrutable the expert hitmen Dawson hires are pathologically evil, so if somebody's gotta take a fall, better them than Golgo. One is responsible for a disturbing rape scene--the box warns that the movie "contains scenes of extreme violence and sexuality" (No kidding!). At the end of the film Golgo happens to run into the victim in a confusing, yet somehow touching scene. Better not tell you too much.
To sum up, this is not your usual anime. Believe it or not, I'm glad I picked this movie up. It wasn't nearly as bad as the first review I read made it sound like--certainly worth $3.33. Yes, it's sexist, ultra-violent, exploitative--but it's just so weird, so absurd, that I couldn't help laughing along with it. I can't believe it's makers didn't expect this. There's something intriguing and fascinating about the mysterious Duke Togo--I wish some more anime based on the manga would be made. To quote Mike Toole once more, "Golgo 13: The Professional isn't a total loss".
My favorite line: "If I have to blow up a city or two in the process, I will!"--Dawson
P.S., Guess what--I found a strongly positive review of "The Professional" at "The Anime Cafe", written by Joe McCulloch: "Although held in contempt by many fans and reviewers... Golgo 13 is actually a deeply original action anime, due to the fact that the "hero" is totally unsympathetic and the "villain" is the major focus of the film's sympathies." (Whether you consider this a novel approach, or just plain foolish, is up to you!)
Last updated Sunday, February 17 2008. Created Monday, August 18 2003.
|Urban Vision Entertainment||http://www.urban-vision.com/|
|Official website for Golgo 13|