This is a blog which primarily gives some attention to movies that I find were overlooked (for whatever reason) or are simply underrated. I also comment on other, mainly movie-related issues as well. I welcome any suggestions for films to be added to this distinguished list.

One word of warning: The films listed below contain spoilers, so caution during reading is required.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983)

"I'm going to settle this problem with Golgo 13 no matter what it takes! And if I have to blow up a city or two in the process, I will!"
-Leonard Dawson

I must confess that, while I've read many comics, I'm not what you would call a Manga expert. The only Manga character I know anything about is hitman Duke Togo, codename: Golgo 13. Created in 1969, this guy is a professional hit man for hire. I've heard some compare him to James Bond (he travels the world and beds a number of women), but, while 007 acts on behalf of Queen and country, Golgo 13 is just in it for the money (much like Clint Eastwood in the great westerns he did for Sergio Leone).
Ironically, I first heard of Golgo 13, not by reading one of his stories, but with a video game. In 1988, the original Nintendo system released Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, which was the most complex video game I played at that time. Hence, it was all the more gratifying when I finally beat it. Hence, I was the first in line when its sequel The Mafat Conspiracy hit stores two years later.
This film was the first animated movie based on the manga.
It begins with Golgo 13 killing Robert Dawson, the son of ruthless industrialist Leonard Dawson.
This act prompts the elder Dawson to terminate Golgo 13 using many of the cronies at his disposal. One of them, a James Bond-esque villain called Snake, agrees to do so after Dawson allows him to rape his now-widowed daughter-in-law Laura.
Eventually, Togo goes through all of Dawson's men and, after confronting Dawson, we learn that Robert ordered Golgo 13 to kill him because he did not view himself worthy of inheriting his father's giant empire.
I also want to note that, given how Togo is so stone faced whether facing certain death or having sex, this may be the perfect part for Steven Seagal.
This film is also noteworthy for being the first to incorporate CGI animation, something we all basically take for granted today.
Other films and video games about Togo have followed but I still don't know of many people who have heard of him.
This is why I think it was smart of Steven Spielberg to have released his latest film, The Adventures of Tintin (2011), in Europe before the U.S. Tintin has been a legend in Europe for a while and the response of the Tintin's huge following there basically determined if Spielberg did the character justice. Hence, it wouldn't have really mattered if Tintin did any business in the U.S.-for fans of Herge's character the film was a success.

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