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Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 7,580 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 44 critic

An officially "dead" cop is trained to become an extraordinarily unique assassin in service of the US president.

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(novel), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charles Cioffi ...
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Davenia McFadden ...
Cosie Costa ...
J.P. Romano ...
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Boomer #2 (as Joel J. Kramer)
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Marv Albert ...
Sports Announcer (voice)
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Storyline

An NYPD cop is 'killed' in an accident. The death is faked, and he is inducted into the organization CURE, dedicated to preserving the constitution by working outside of it. Remo is to become the enforcement wing (assassin) of CURE, and learns an ancient Korean martial art from Chiun, the Master of Sinanju. Based on the popular pulp series "The Destroyer," by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A most reluctant hero takes you on an action-adventure armed only with his fists and wits...and with his tongue planted in his cheek. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Remo Williams and the Secret of Sinanju  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 2,951,832 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the actors who auditioned for the part of Remo Williams claimed to be proficient in the martial art of Sinanju, not realizing it was a fiction derived from the Destroyer novels on which the movie was based. See more »

Goofs

When Remo is riding on the log and being shot at, the general and Grove are in an open Jeep. When the logs hit the vehicle and it goes over the edge, it is a closed truck. The top of the cab is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Chiun: Professional assassination. It's the highest form of public service.
See more »

Connections

Features Asteroids (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Remo's Theme (What If)
Performed by Tommy Shaw
Written by Tommy Shaw and Richie Cannata
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very entertaining, yet often misunderstood.

This movie inspires different reactions from people, depending on the expectations they bring to their first viewing. It's a semi-serious, semi-spoof Action/Comedy/Crime/Thriller/Martial Arts movie that doesn't fit neatly into any category. It is tremendously entertaining, as long as you aren't expecting something totally serious or totally comical. This movie is often misunderstood, and that, coupled with its somewhat-lower-than-average-budget look, may explain why there was no sequel to the movie, which was subtitled in the US "The Adventure Begins." It wasn't quite big-budget enough to satisfy people wanting to see a competitor for James Bond, and it wasn't quite like any other movie enough for people to "get it" right off. Taken at face value as an action movie, therefore, Remo Williams isn't all that noteworthy. However, viewed as an entertaining mixture of action and fun, the movie delivers quite well.

Fred Ward does a fine job as Remo, especially in his scenes with Chiun, his Shinanju master played fantastically by Joel Grey. Some have argued that Ward was too old for the role, which would be debatable even if this were a straight-out action movie; given its true nature, Ward was an excellent choice, and the dynamic between him and Grey makes for some of the most entertaining sequences in the movie.

Joel Grey's Asian "sensei" character stereotype can be forgiven in the context of the semi-spoof, tongue-in-cheek nature of the movie. Chiun's humor shines through his sarcastic commentary about America and Remo; the success of the humor relies on the Korean Shinanju master's strength and ability. Chiun is the most powerful, competent, intelligent, and witty character in the movie. There is also the pleasant story line of Chiun passing on to Remo the legacy of his Shinanju wisdom and knowledge... and wit.

People have also criticized Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) for her performance of Major Rayner Fleming. Overall, her performance is very good, and appropriate for the character, especially before her character meets Remo at Mount Promise. I am still somewhat disappointed, however, to see Major Fleming change from a competent military career-woman into a bewildered character smitten by Remo and Chiun and carried along in their wake. In the role of the army major, Fleming is competent, witty, and believable: an appropriate portrayal of a mid-1980's woman military officer. The directors could have let the character carry that competence through to the end of the movie.

The movie does have some great action sequences, especially the chase around the scaffolding surrounding the Statue of Liberty (remember when they were remodeling it, back in the 80's?), and it is very funny in many places. (See the "memorable quotes" page.) If you watch the movie expecting to have fun and to be entertained, if you suspend your disbelief just a little and don't take it too seriously, you will really enjoy it. It has just enough action, just enough "buddy movie" dynamic, just enough tongue-in-cheek humor, just enough spoof, just enough comic-book type fantasy elements, and just enough enigmatic and amusing martial arts to make it terrifically entertaining. Watch it with your friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon, have some laughs, and be entertained. You'll be glad you did.


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