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神奇奪命計 (1975)
Golden Needles

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 04/12/2011

From Lalo Schifrin's sleazy bass-heavy score to Jim Kelly's afro/porn star mustache combo to Burgess Meredith's grotesquely oversized and garishly colored bowtie, Golden Needles is fully ensconced in 70's cheese, which actually goes a long way to making the film more enjoyable than it should be. That's a good thing, because Robert Clouse was never that great as a director, with many of his films suffering from poor pacing and wooden acting, two items which are shown in spades here. At times, it seems like Clouse just planted a camera in a room and opened a magazine while he had the actors read their lines off of cue cards.

Giving credit where it is due, though, one must note that Clouse usually did get the most out of highlighting the strengths of his lead actors, and, as such, Joe Don Baker is fun to watch here. It might surprise the younger readers out there who know Baker from his later fare, such as playing a doughy FBI agent in James Bond movies, that at this point in his career, he was actually regarded as a legit tough guy, especially after the success of Walking Tall. Baker's burly and gruff charms are ultimately enough to win over the viewer and make Golden Needles worth a watch if you can dig on the products that come from the less-polished side of 1970's cinema.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 05/17/2009
Summary: Not bad with plenty of familiar faces...

Decent adventure with Joe Don Baker as Dan Mason, a hard-living ex-pat living in Hong Kong that knows his way around the city better than any guilao there. Hired to find a guide to the perfect acupuncture method, he runs afoul of a gang of locals that are after the same thing. Big names from Hong Kong cinema pepper the cast, like Roy Chiao, Richard Ng and Lee Ka-Ting. Almost feels like a parallel story to Enter the Dragon, but without the overwhelming presence of Bruce Lee. Jim Kelly has a relatively small role as a friend of Masons that provides some muscle when the plot moves to Los Angeles.

Reviewer Score: 6