Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins...
Reviewed by Ken M. Wilson
Rating: 2.5 Beans
ow on earth could the world do this to us? We've seen many bad films (which will end up being reviewed on this site) with big named actors, huge budgets, and horrible plots with sequel after sequel yet "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" -- which goes as far as to openly say that it is going to have sequels -- begins and ends within the same film. Pathetic. I liked this film... it was one of my favorites while growing up.
After several years, I decided to crack this movie back open and review it with the eyes of an official "BM Night" reviewer. I still don't understand why it failed... seriously. Fred Ward plays a New York policeman that is set up by a secret organization (whose only employees are super-bad Reginald Veljohnson and Braniff spokesperson Wilford Brimley) in order to "kill him." Once he's been officially deemed dead by the police force and the world at large, Brimley's organization "hires" Ward and, after doing a little reconstructive plastic surgery on him, names him Remo Williams after glancing at the bedpan in his hospital room (for trivia's sake, "Remo, Arkansas" is where the bedpan was made by "Williams, Inc."). "A lot of thought was put into it," says Veljohnson.
From here, the movie introduces the best character in the whole flick -- Chiun, played by veteran actor Joel Grey. Chiun is the master of Sinenju (I think), the purest of all martial arts, and has been recruited by Remo's group to train him in this fine art. What's so cool about Sinenju? It allows you to dodge bullets, float while running, walk on water, and bring a woman to orgasmic bliss by merely tapping on her wrist in time with the beat of her pulse. Classic stuff.
Once initiated into the world of being an assassin, Remo is set after the corrupt head of Groves Industries. As it turns out, Groves is screwing over the U.S. government by selling them second-rate weapons paving the way for an even larger government contract. With politicians and military heads on his payroll it seems that he's got it all wrapped up... until Remo Williams and Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek crap fame interferes.
Remo and crew must find and stop Groves before it is too late. There's no lacking in action scenes here at Williams must sneak around from place to place -- running into the world's smartest Doberman watch dog known to man -- while trying to get his shot at Groves. The most hugely staged scene in the entire film deals with the Statue of Liberty's face-lift in the mid-80s. Surrounded by scaffolding, Remo leaps from bar to bar while being accosted by hillbilly construction workers. Pretty slick stuff for a movie that wasn't even given a shot at a sequel. Damn the world for not making this film a big budget for I would have killed to have reviewed it's doomed sequels.
All in all, I still enjoy this film whenever I watch it. Sure, it's slow in areas but it does provide me with two of my favorite cinematic quotes of all time. Wilford Brimley, explaining to Fred Ward just how powerful his computer is, brags that he "could find the temperature of your ass in that chair if I really wanted to." However, my favorite line comes from Chiun after having rolled repeatedly down a hill in a military truck. Racing towards the destroyed vehicle, Remo finds Chiun safe yet wedged inside. Holding up the broken door handle, which he tried to pull in order to leap out of the truck before it began its descent, says "in Korea, door handles do not break." I don't know... maybe it isn't that funny but when you hear Grey speak it, you'll understand.
Overall rating? Two and a half Beans. I like it... so there.