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Golgo 13: The Professional (Special Edition) PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 17:00
Golgo 13: The ProfessionalIt's not often that I don't finish a disc, and it's even rarer when that disc is a title that some people hold in very high regard. Golgo 13: The Professional joins that club of dubious honour - a classic from the 80's, when anime revelled in its shock value and CG animation was just getting off the ground, it's beginning to look a bit like a relic from another age...

I'll let the good folks from Manga Entertainment provide a short blurb on the title:
Golgo 13 is the most ruthless executioner in the world, an assassin ready for any job, if the money's right. But the hunter becomes the hunted when the father of his latest victim orders a hit on the hitman. Golgo must fight off the CIA, the FBI and the US military, while using his killer skills to find out who has betrayed him.

First, a little bit of history. Way back in 1983, Golgo 13: The Professional was apparently the first anime title to make use of 3DCG animation, which you can see during an airborne helicopter chase in the later part of the show. I'm sure it was thoroughly impressive at the time, but technology doesn't age well, and neither do flat, untextured buildings that don't look a whole lot more advanced than the wireframe graphics of Battlezone. It was also around this time that any anime released in the UK had to have large doses of sex, violence, or preferably both, and this title certainly doesn't disappoint on either front.

He shoots, he scores...Cue sex scene

After killing the son of a rich & powerful oil baron, Golgo finds himself on the wrong end of a hitman's contract, with his support base slowly being pulled out from under him as his contacts are killed one after the other. I suppose the lesson there is to be careful which contracts you choose, lest they decide to bite back. What follows is a chase across the world, as Golgo tries to keep ahead of his would-be killers and do unto them as they would do unto him, first. His travels are punctuated by a number of dalliances with a variety of woman, thereby keeping a steady flow of sex scenes running through the film, and some rather messy killings, which should keep the more bloodthirsty viewer happy. For it's time, it was just what Western audiences wanted - but now, as well as looking horribly dated in terms of animation, it also doesn't really hold up well in terms of story, either. The assassin theme has been done plenty of times since Golgo 13 made its debut, and has been done so much more stylishly and effectively that this film's age and lack of polish really work against it.

Take aim...Adversaries

For people who have been in anime long enough to remember this from the first time around, there'll probably be a good bit of nostalgia value to having this updated release, as there are a lot of extras attached that will appeal to people who know the propertly already. For newcomers, though, the prognosis isn't so good - this was my first time watching Golgo 13, and it was a real chore. I eventually gave up before the end of the film, as I just couldn't be bothered watching any more of it. As something of a museum piece, Golgo 13: The Professional has some interest, but otherwise you'll probably want to give it a pass.

Rating - **

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