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η‹™ζ“ŠεδΈ‰ (1977)
Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 06/15/2007
Summary: I'm with cal42

No-one's mentioned the cinematography yet. There is lots of terrific scenery. Panoramic shots of Hong Kong's skyline and harbour. Downtown Kyoto. Ahh, makes we want to start travelling again. For all thw silliness of the story, this movie is at least great to look at.

Sonny spends a lot of time snarling around, sometimes bursting out in a flurry of kicks and, of course, dispatching bad guys and gals with his character's trademark, the single shot in the middle of the forehead. Man, this guy is cool. Callan is surprisingly good as his pursuer/admirer. Jerry Itoh and Nick Lam do creditable work as baddies.

The story is slipshod and silly, yet as a vehicle to make things happen, it works very well. Overall, good daft 70s fun.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 06/06/2007

Sonny Chiba plays super-assassin Golgo 13, previously incarnated in Manga and Anime form. He is hired to assassinate the Hong Kong boss of a drugs cartel, by his US superiors who reckon he's up to no good. An obsessively anti-drug HK cop is also after the cartel, and doesn't really want Golgo 13 killing his target before he's arrested.

Sonny Chiba really made a lot of crap films, and Golgo 13 is certainly one of them. Poorly written, acted and directed, with not nearly enough martial arts action to make up for it. Chiba kicks ass when he gets chance, of course, as does Etsuko Shiomi to a lesser degree. Other than that... pah.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 06/05/2007
Summary: Confusing but stylish

GOLGO 13 is a head-scratchingly confusing tale of a professional hitman (the ultra-cool Sonny Chiba) hired to take out Hong Kong’s drug kingpin. Opposing him is Agent Smithy (Ga Lun, AKA “Callan Leung”), a tough Kowloon cop. Apparently based on a Japanese Manga, this appears to be a collaboration between Japanese and Hong Kong filmmakers.

The plot is almost unfathomable in this one, and I’m sure it contradicts itself in places. But there are some great shots of Hong Kong and a great 70’s jazzy score plays throughout. And of course Sonny Chiba is as hard-as-nails as you can possibly get.

There’s a truly mad scene where a factory is being attacked by the cops. One injured man stumbles around a switch marked with a big sign saying “DON’T TOUCH”. He accidentally stumbles over it, flips the switch and KABOOM! The whole place is blown to smithereens. Seriously, did no one do a Health and Safety Risk Assessment on this place? Presumably not, as it’s only a lair for henchmen – but why keep a switch around the place whose sole intention is to blow the factory up? It’s asking for trouble! At least cover the bloody thing up or something. Sheesh!

So while the plot is somewhat confusing to follow, GOLGO 13 is nevertheless quite fun to watch. One serious downside is this seems to have been shot without sound and is dubbed particularly badly even in its own language – there were a couple of times I was tempted to watch with the English dub, but thankfully I never got THAT desperate.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: sharkeysbar
Date: 06/18/2005
Summary: Assignment Kowloon

I want to first say I was handicapped by the "Crash Cinema" dubbed version that I have seen. Poor editing, woeful dubbing and I got the feeling it was intentionally done this way to raise a few laughs (?). It doesn't do this film justice.
Yet the film is underneath all these faults a real tough guy film from 1977, it would be nice to see the orginial version. Sonny Chiba and Ga Lun play the two leads, evil versus good, but even Golgo 13, aka Duke Togo is really a good guy underneath the tough exterior.
Some of the fights are good (but with cheap sound effects dubbed in) and some of this film is real fantasy, like swinging off a cliff, firing a rifle and hitting a guy between the eyes in a flying helicopter! It is a real treat, but it is not one of Sonny Chiba's best (The Streetfighter series is excellent) and the manga or anime of Golgo 13 are far better, but for what it is, it is well worth a viewing. Judging it for what it is and the time it was made and the budget it had, I'd say give it a view, preferably not the Crash Cinema dubbed & edited version. 6.5/10

Reviewer Score: 7