While Remo and his teacher work their missions, an elite assassin targets Remo.

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Based on the long running cult book series The Destroyer. It centers on the main hero Remo Williams, who is unwillingly recruited by a secret government organization named C.U.R.E. to do ... See full summary »

Director: Shane Black
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Cast overview:
...
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Stephen Elliott ...
...
Tony
...
Taffy
Andy Romano ...
Derek Boland
Bruce Neckels ...
Businessman
Chad Randall
Darwyn Swalve ...
Biker Leader
Steven Wilde
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While Remo and his teacher work their missions, an elite assassin targets Remo.

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15 August 1988 (USA)  »

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Trivia

This TV-movie was intended to be the pilot for a television series, but the show was not picked up. The movie itself only aired on television once. See more »

Quotes

Chiun: It's astonishing how one so pitiful is yet so proud.
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Connections

Follows Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) See more »

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Not great by any means but had potential in its comic lack of seriousness and sense of adventure
13 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With his contract up, Master Chiun leaves his student Remo to return to Korean. However Remo's boss Harold Smith convinces him that he must stay and continue Remo's training, making him a more effective weapon for Smith but also ensuring that nobody could ever suggest that Chiun's training produces a poor student. In the time it takes him to go to the airport and come back again, he finds that Remo already has a stunning blonde in the flat and has drunk beer. Remo's defence that it was a light beer doesn't wash and the training recommences. While Smith assigns Remo a new task, Chiun arranges a professional hit-man to assist with the next lesson in his long road to personal completion.

I watched the Remo Williams films recently as part of reminding myself of some of the films from the 80's and I saw some potential in it even if it was neither good or bad as a total. I came to the TV pilot wondering what the TV would have made of it and, if I'm honest I found the same thing – a solid but far from perfect TV show that had potential in terms of its rugged light entertainment value. The pilot picks up from the end of the movie more or less and it reproduces the same sense of humour and adventure as well. Many reviewers lay into this pilot as being the worst thing ever but I assure you that it is only very basic and in need of love. I say this because many shows are not what they become at the pilot stage, they get the interest in the pilot and work out the kinks over the next few episodes (Burn Notice's pilot had one character do an awful Irish accent, which was gone by the next episode – one recent example I can think of). The plot offers itself for weekly "missions" and training events and I'm not sure why that alone didn't appeal to anyone.

The problem may have been how cheap it was because, although time has dated it to make it look worse, it does appear to have been made on the cheap – but again, devil's advocate, it was a pilot, not a full show. Personally I liked it and I was surprised that I did. I could see potential in the comedy that it does so well, in particular with Master Chiun having things like his love of Barbara Streisand for example. I even thought that the comedy inherent in the rather silly action sequences worked because, like the movie, it didn't take itself too seriously. This would have made for a great bit of weekly entertainment for a male audience. OK so the robot in the chemical factory was daft but again, it sort of worked for me. Likewise, the breaking of the 4th wall at times worked quite well – particularly at the start but it was a bit overdone and some of the "to camera" looks didn't work.

McDowall did a good job as Chiun – no more or less non-PC than the film version but still enjoyable, getting the outrage and impatient comedy just right. Meek doesn't quite cut it though. He is too light and "80's soap opera" to fit the bill – Fred Ward had a tougher charisma that suited the character much more. He doesn't kill it though and one could see it working despite him, but it would be despite him. Elliott has big shoes to fill but he does OK as Smith. Overall this is a trashy piece of television but it is actually quite fun and, with some work, I could see it as a weekly TV show in the mould of Magnum or MacGyver from the same sort of period. I am not saying it is good by any mean but equally I cannot understand why it never got a shot and I do feel like I should add my voice to those asking why now, in 2009, it is not worth a studio taking another look and seeing what they can do with the concept.


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