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THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is an archetypal animated crime drama. This is
a relentlessly brutal film about one man's crusade to destroy the elusive
figure who was solely responsible for the murder of his own kin. THE
PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is also an emotionally disturbing film which
demonstrates the pain and distress of having to cope with the loss of a
one. It serves as a chilling reminder of how human beings can easily
succumb to the power of suffering. THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is a tautly
made film dealing with the psychological mind, but most importantly of all,
it is a thriller that leaves you on the edge-of-your-seat from the first
frame to the finish.
Duke Togo (a.k.a. Golgo 13) is an assassin for hire. He does not care about his clients at all; he only cares about himself and his money. Devoid of emotion, Golgo's life is predominated by violence and sex. Golgo's latest mission is to terminate Mr. Robert Dawson, the son of a wealthy oil-business baron, Leonard Dawson. With just a single bullet, Golgo 13 has successfully accomplished this task. Meanwhile, Mr. Leonard Dawson, understandably aggravated with the death of his only son, has vowed to terminate this assassin once and for all. Leonard Dawson is usually use to `getting what he wants,' but this entrepreneur does not realize what a formidable foe Golgo 13 might be...
Desperate, Leonard Dawson has hired a number of professional mercenaries and agencies to assist him in tracking and eliminating his loose cannon. Along the way, Dawson has employed a ruthless, cold-blooded killer named `Snake' to personally make sure that Golgo 13 suffer a violent and painful demise...
However, Golgo 13 always manages to be ahead of the game. Whenever danger strikes, this elusive hitman always succeeds in escaping with his life. He is quick, agile, and intuitive, but consequently, he is a man with little sentiment...
Golgo 13 is constantly on the run from the menacing villains of every color. Will Golgo 13 be able to save his own skin...or will he truly meet his match with a professional adversary?
THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is certainly an adult-oriented tale. This is an extremely sickening film, with grotesque deaths being shown in explicit detail second by second. The color red tends to literally predominate the screen at times. Typical of the Japanese animation style is also the gratuitous use of frontal female nudity, especially since virtually every female in this movie removes her clothes at least once during the film's duration. Indeed, as shown by the abundance of sanguinary violence, soft-core sex scenes (Golgo's love-making scene with `Cindy' is particularly steamy.) and unclothed females, THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is animation made strictly for mature audiences.
It would be unfair to dismiss THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 just because of its excessive violence and nudity. Unlike most films of this caliber, what is admiring about this movie is that though it is full of sex and violence, it does not let those two qualities overshadow the film's technical and also rather profound attributes. First, the technical accomplishments in this movie are plentiful. The camerawork and editing are stylishly done. They often shift from the use of freeze frames to slow motion sequences to split screen features. The animation too, is marvelous; the use of different colors and lighting effects are utilized to the first degree in order to symbolize a certain character's behavior such as pleasure or anger. As well, the computer generated action scenes near the end are themselves a masterfully created piece of work. THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 contains some of the best artwork and details of a modern animated feature.
THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is also a trenchant character study. This movie shows the mental anguish and vulnerability in the human soul, as demonstrated by the erratic behavior Leonard Dawson displays. THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 spares no punches as it illustrates that human misery does not only affect the individual himself; it could also affect his loved ones just as sharply. This motion picture shows as well how an obsession with revenge will leave a person devastated even more deeply. It is a very sad movie indeed, but this movie dares you to actually show sorrow for many of the characters involved in the predicament...
What makes THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 even more remarkable is the film's diversely outrageous cast of characters. They range from the sick and bizarre lunatic, `Snake,' to the deformed twins `Gold' and `Silver,' and then, to the sexy, lascivious lady, `Cindy.' The breakthrough character sketches in this movie (plus the state-of-the-art animation) make the viewer believe that instead of watching a lame cartoon, he/she is experiencing an actual feature presentation. THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is truly `number one...with a bullet.'
Overall, THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is a unique experience. Unlike most superficial, one-dimensional cartoon presentations, THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is a realistic (albeit still an animated feature) film that is rather plaintive, bleak, and depressing. At the same time though, THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 will leave you breathless as the amazing action and gritty visuals will keep you addicted for more excitement. The animation especially, is notably conceived. THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 is a destined cult hit in the making. Though this is an animated film, the spellbinding plot, assured direction, plus the three dimensional characters and strong themes help give this motion picture a potently authentic quality. There are more than enough plot twists to keep you enthralled even after the denouncement. Plus, a powerful subtext (amongst many) about how the letting of one's emotions cloud his/her thoughts can easily cripple one's life forever will keep the viewer suitably mesmerized. This is a film that will leave you contemplating about how delicate the human soul really is...
If you are looking for a near perfect thriller, then search no further.
RATING: ***1/2 out of ****.
James Bond served Japanese-style. Not much character development of Golgo 13, just a suave assassin who enjoys the pleasures of women. Just look at his face during the coupling scenes and you see that his blood runs ice-cold. There is much humour, and many ridiculous killers, from Snake to Silver & Gold. The narrative telling the background story of Silver & Gold is priceless and worth the viewing of this film just for that scene. I am talking about the 2 guys dropped into the jungle without food or weapons for 30 days and they both killed a whole army of guys.
This anime adaptation of Takao Saito's long-running manga classic is
one of my all-time favorite action movies, animated or otherwise, and
I'm at a loss to explain why so many dyed-in-the-wool anime junkies
despise it (cruise the internet and you'll see what I mean).
Duke Togo is the world's greatest assassin-for-hire, better known as "Golgo 13," and if you're on his list you might as well dig the hole because there is no way, repeat, NO WAY you will elude him. Once he's hired, it's your ass. Togo's adventures take him across the globe, and his skills with weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, and damned near anything else a human being could master are constantly put to hair-raising tests. Though lacking in actual meta-human superpowers, Togo could nonetheless be considered a superman, so with that in mind it's seldom in doubt that he'll come out on top in any given situation, so the suspense lies in seeing just how the hell he's going to pull off the often impossible assignments he chooses to accept. All of this information is old news to readers of the venerable manga series, but it's given the most cursory noting in the feature, seen briefly in a C.I.A. transcript at the film's beginning, but it's vital to suspending one's disbelief and once past that we're immediately thrust into Togo's violent world.
Gazillionaire industrialist Leonard Dawson throws a birthday party for his son, Leonard Jr., aboard his private cruise ship, a lavish ceremony in which he names his son heir and successor to his empire, but Dawson's elation is shattered when his son is surgically shot through the forehead with but a single bullet, killing him instantly. The assassin: Duke Togo. The senior Dawson, now nearly insane with grief, launches an all-out war against Golgo 13, employing the most vicious and lethal professionals that his bottomless coffers can procure, including horrific ex-military sociopaths, crooked intelligence officials, and an unspeakably terrifying monster of a man who rightly goes by the moniker "Snake," all while Togo hops the globe carrying out other "jobs." Togo must stay one step ahead of his assailants, each as hard as he is, and figure out how to survive one Christ Almighty perfect storm of graphic violence. And there also lurks the mystery that spurs the plot: exactly who wanted the junior Dawson murdered, and why?
Loaded with more action than most films have any right to possess, Golgo 13 is a breathless kick in the ass that fans of old school James Bond and other such espionage will simply eat up. I first saw it on an untranslated VHS tape in 1986 and I've been a staunch supporter ever since, sharing it with as many people as I can convince to give it a chance despite its reputation as a bomb. I think it may come off a tame when compared to the later excesses in Japanese animation, such as post-apocalyptic slug-fest filled with showering viscera, city- leveling psychic children and titanic robots, female ninjas with poisonous naughty bits, and the ever-popular spectacle of sailor-suited schoolgirls having their every orifice explored by the tentacles and other bits of demonic rapists just before they explode in a torrent of offal and demonic DNA, but Golgo 13 has all of them beat for sheer quality entertainment that even your parents might dig.
The plot is a good backdrop for the style and the action, but it's
irrelevant to the quality of the film.
'Golgo 13' loves showing things indirectly, be it by looking at things through a mirror, by looking through an obstacle like a fence, by showing the effect of an action symbolically, or (beware the twist) by only showing the effect to imply the action, OR simply by obscuring the view with bright light, smoke, flames, spurting blood,...
It even more loves looking at single elements individually. They say about Leone's and Tarantino's movies that even the smallest character is the star of the movie for the moment he is in that widescreen frame. In 'Golgo 13' every inanimate object, animal or body part can be the movie's star for a moment. A finger cocking a gun becomes an act of god.
The style is over the top from beginning to end, less by means of multiplication of the glorified things and actions but more by means of subtraction of unnecessary elements. We know people need a floor to walk on, we don't need to see the floor at any given moment. We also know where a character is at once we have seen a wide shot, we can see the character in blank space or any other background that reflects his thoughts or emotions and we still remember what the factual surroundings are.
Although many of those approaches are typical of Japanese animated films not many are as convicted in following them or as inventive in their execution.
The visual power of the movie doesn't come from the individual images, the key of its power lies in the motion.
There isn't a sequence without movement and should there be such a rare moment then it isn't there to last for more than a second. It's like hungry vultures circling around dead meat for hours and hours with deadly patience. The cadaver can't run away but it very well can be snatched away by competitive scavengers. - 'Golgo 13' reeks of death. Everyone will die, it's just a question of when. Nihilism means seeing everyone dead already. To the characters in 'Golgo 13' taking a life is equalized by the notion of creating something new, the notion of giving birth to death. In this world without meaning the assassin Golgo 13 has the edge because he counts himself into the equation. He won't think twice before risking his life, he looks death in the face like he would look in the face of his mother. To be is not to be. By the end the whole world seems to come crashing down and no character cares to go on living anymore. The movie is all attitude, no feeling, and it's so consequent at this that it becomes a statement.
The baddest professional asassain I've ever seen! Good anime flick. The main character, golgo 13 is a character so stoic, so stonefaced, that he hardly cracks even a hint of emotion even when in the act of having hot sex. There's a good deal of that in the movie, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the plot, but that's the standard bug about most anime movies I've seen. Oh well, the kiddos should get a good thrill out of it anyway. The action is intense! This guy is an amazing shot, with either his modified M 16 or his revolver. My favorite scene is when he goes head to head with Snake (a repulsive, toothless villain who uses bladed yo-yos to kill his victims. I'm not making this up,) in an elevator. The final brawl he had with the twin killers Silver and Gold was cool too, but given how much they hyped up the two characters beforehand, I frankly expected them to put up more of a fight. Anyway, it's a great anime flick.
I don't think hitman stories are overused. "Golgo 13" is the reason why I think this now. This movie was cool. It's interesting how people can make an animated movie, and treat it like a movie with real actors. Cartoons were never supposed to be like this. I was impressed. The action scenes were thrilling, it had great characters, and it was well acted too. The drama was actually strong in this movie. We focus on the father of this one person Golgo 13 killed, (It's not the whole movie. We focus on Golgo 13 too.) and it's strong. We see how bent on revenge he is, and it shows that your not just watching this for violence. If you like Japanese anime, then you'll like this one.
Since this is now out on DVD, none of you have any excuse for not having seen it. When it comes to assassins, Golgo 13 is the man. Period. (He's not too shabby with the ladies either.) After completing one of his jobs, a hit on a powerful and very connected businessman's son, he becomes the target for revenge. Killing Golgo 13, though, is no easy task at all. The story here is solid, with some great moments (like the ending), cool sub-plots, twisted characters, and plenty of bloody action. The execution of this classic (1983) anime is, in a word, stylish. Freeze frames, split screens, and other such techniques are prevalent throughout. There's also a noirish feel to much of the film, often accompanied by soft, bluesy-type music. Of course, being made so many years ago, much of it seems dated (especially the very early CGI helicopters) but for me, it's a minor complaint the movie still rocks hard. Check it out. Now. (If you don't have a proper audio system, I recommend changing the track on the DVD to mono to avoid a tinny echo sound on the voices.)
One of the earliest Japanese animation films I can remember seeing,
this film was a perfect introduction to me in how great a textured and
visually appealing an anime story could be. Shot like a noir detective
film with all the action and speed of a spy thriller, this film set a
new benchmark for the sniper/hit-man genre.
Duke Togo, while devoid of most emotion, captivates as a steely and ruthless assassin bent on survival as well as completion of his tasks. The stylish and dark film has conspiracies, presidential assassinations, serial killers, sex, guns, explosions and insane escape scenes.
The story is straight forward; someone has paid Golgo 13 to assassinate the son of a wealthy business man and oil magnate. Revenge is to be taken on Golgo 13 at all costs, involving crooked cops, serial killers, generals, CIA, FBI, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Special Forces. Basically, Leonard Dawson is taking his son's death a bit hard and feels just a little raw toward Duke.
The American translation is passable with pretty good over all emotional tone and great music setting for mood. One of my favorite anime and overall examples of noir style in graphic arts of the 80s if you can ignore that very dated helicopter scene that makes everyone so angry... Personally I didn't think it was bad, just out of place in a film with a perfect fever pitch already. Great ending, great film overall. Well worth a look for anyone who enjoys spy films, hit men or noir.
TAG-LINE (EUR): "Leonard Dawson is the richest man in the
people makes enemies...if an enemy becomes a problem...then someone calls
the proffesional, codenamed: GOLGO 13. The proffesional is about to be
tested...to his ultimate level...how long can the Proffesional last? Hard
hitting action as the Proffesional faces his ultimate challenge."
This film got too little publicity at the time, and deserved more recognition. I dont understand why the media failed to recognise this anime, before the Western release of AKIRA. And personally, I think it was unfair. Even today, the detail in the artwork, and the fluencey of animation is astounding. Never before have I seen a more detailed drawn anime. The animators sorted everything from the rendition on the gun lenses to the air-brushed shading to give the guns a more metalic look. Another notable thing about this film is the use of CGI graphics to add extra realism to the atmosphere, something which was unheard of, and thought impossible in 1983. Golgo 13 demonstrated this way before Akira came into the public domain. Many of the anime today are drawn sharp, and unimaginatively, e.g. Pokemon, but it's always the "old sckool" anime that retain high standards in the art-work. The plot is just something that noone would have expected from animated production: A man supposidly hunting down another man for the murder of his son, but in the end it is revealed to the viewer his actions were purely for the sake of passion. I especially liked the idea of a spoiled-pretty woman hiding behind the guise of a ruthless crime-mobster, too which noone expected to be "Doctor.Z" The film is a worthy adaption to Saito's comic series, and thankfully it didn't have a crummy television series, with drab animation. The story alone portrays the more explicit, cold violent world surrounding the guise of a lone-Japanese pre.James Bond 007 who is UNLIENCED to kill. Golgo 13 kills purely for a living, and the mystery behind his cold, seemingly-cyborg character, and the fact that his soul is void of human sentiments and ultimately, emotion adds further interest & suspision to his past and true motives behind the killing game. Definately worth a watch if your a fan of Japanese cinema or anime, but may seem a bit dull for those of you who are used to John Travolta/Nic.Cage shoot'em ups where the guy gets the girl and the bad guy dies, etc. A far from lame story. *8/10*
Duke Togo. Man on a mission. And the mission appears to be kill as many people as you can'.
This film is what James Bond would be if Eon had any balls. The Professional is a gun for hire. If he accepts a contract then he always hits his target. He takes all the best parts of Bond (being as hard as a coffin nail and bedding various beauties) and detaches all the cheesy dialogue.
Duke Togo is a cold blooded killer. We never feel for him, but we do root against the baddies. He never smiles, isn't ever nice, but lives by a marginal code of honour, which we sort of respect. Like I said, its hard to empathise with Duke Togo, but we do sort of understand him.
The story itself is pretty good and amazingly coherent for a title of this genre. It deals with deception, double crossing, revenge, hate and violence. We soon come to realise that Duke is a pawn in the middle of things. Albeit a pawn with the ability to shoot the head off a match.
Being an early 80's production, the animation isnt that impressive, although the realistic approach is very good and gives the film some authenticity. We also get to see some rudimentary CGI (which shows the ambition of the project), in the form a helicopter gunship.
All in all The Professional is a very entertaining watch. Girls, guns and a whole lot of maiming. It looks a shade dated now (20 years on), but still packs quite a punch.
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