The Golden Child is a 1986 dark comedy film directed by Michael Ritchie (Fletch / Fletch Lives, The Bad News Bears, The Island, & Prime Cut). It was written & produced by Dennis Feldman (Just One of the Guys, Species, Real Men, & Virus). It was produced by Edward S. Feldman (Near Dark, The Hitcher, The Truman Show, Witness, Hot Dog… The Movie, & The Sender). In 1992, it was adapted into an Indian film called Yoddha. The budget was $25 million & it grossed $79.8 million at the box office!!!!
In a remote temple in Tibet, a young boy with mystical powers known as the Golden Child (played by: J.L. Reate) receives badges of station & demonstrates his power to the monks of the temple by reviving a dead eastern rosella. A mysterious man Sardo Numspa (played by: Charles Dance from Game of Thrones, Last Action Hero, The Crown, & Godzilla: King of the Monsters) has his men break into the temple, slaughter the monks & abduct the boy. A young woman Kee Nang (played by: Charlotte Lewis from Embrace of the Vampire, Men of War, Excessive Force, & Storyville) watches a Los Angeles TV show in which social worker Chandler Jarrell (played by: Eddie Murphy from Beverly Hills Cop franchise, Coming to America, Dolemite Is My Name, & Trading Places) talks about his latest case. Kee seeks him out & informs him of the kidnapping of the Golden Child. She claims that he is the “chosen one” who would save the Child. Chandler does not take this seriously.
Kee reveals to Chandler that a location was a holding place for the Child & introduces him to Doctor Hong (played by: James Hong from Tango & Cash, Big Trouble in Little China, Blade Runner, & Wayne’s World 2) & Kala (played by: Shakti Chen from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country & Three Kinds of Heat). They track down a motorcycle gang known as the Yellow Dragons & Chinese restaurant owner Tommy Tong (played by: Peter Kwong from Big Trouble in Little China, Cooties, Steele Justice, & Gleaming the Cube). Numspa presents his demands: the Ajanti Dagger in exchange for the boy to Chandler. Chandler finally agrees to help after all of this. They travel to Tibet, Chandler has to pass a test: an obstacle course in a bottomless cavern whilst carrying a glass of water without spilling a drop to get the dagger. Chandler locates Numspa’s hideout after a tragedy, retrieves the dagger again with the help of Til (played by: Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb from Ernest Goes to Jail, Raising Arizona, Fletch Lives, & Blind Fury) & frees the boy. This leads to a dangerous final confrontation with the ambitious Sardo Numspa, can Chandler save the boy & others around him????The Golden Child was definitely a different kind of 80’s comedy for superstar Eddie Murphy. It took the comedian on a dark adventure & it still stands out from his other work during that time when he was killing it at the box office with damn near every movie that he did. Don’t get me wrong, this one is still funny but it is more adventure & darker than his other material. The script gave the actor more of a serious role which was really rare back then. This one rarely gets mentioned but it’s one of his better earlier performances. Charles Dance is always a top notch villain. Plus it has some interesting henchmen. The Golden Child has a great supporting cast including a few from one of my all time favorites Big Trouble in Little China. Lots of familiar faces like James Hong, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, Peter Kwong, Charlotte Lewis, Victor Wong, & professional wrestler Tiger Chung Lee. This one had a nice balance of everything. It’s exciting reminder of the 80’s with it’s fx & score that brings you back to those days. The Golden Child is still very fun & entertaining with great replay value to it. It’s great to see this feature finally get some more love on home video, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is a major upgrade compared to the older DVD & VHS releases from back in the day. The production design & various locations really shine here. It has a nice variety of audio options which includes English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0, German: Dolby Digital 2.0, & Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0 on this brand new blu ray release. The audio is solid here, it’s a little better than the previous home video release. The dialogue is very clean, all the action is elevated, & the music has a nice boost to it. It also has English, English SDH, French, German, & Japanese subtitles!
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “The Making of The Golden Child” is a brand new & exclusive two part feature for The Golden Child. It has interviews with director Michael Ritchie, writer Dennis Feldman, actors Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, Charlotte Lewis, & various members of the production. “The Chosen Ones” & “Daggers, Design and Demons” are both almost 7 minutes. “The Chosen Ones” goes over the story, script, the characters, & the actors for the production. Murphy says it was the best script that he’s ever read here but years later he trashed it which is kinda funny. They chat about the comedian & working with him on this. They talk about their experience here & the director Michael Ritchie. “Daggers, Design and Demons” goes over stunts, the locations, production design, special fx, costumes, & other technical aspects of the movie. They chat about the action & acting with the fx before it was actually finished. They talk about the set pieces in this. Both features cover completely different subjects for The Golden Child & you get lots of information about the film in under 15 minutes. It’s archive footage put together from the set. It has a “Trailer” for it. It also includes a really cool slipcover that folds out to the original poster & a clear case with additional photos. I really dig the unique packaging for this blu ray. This is from the newer Paramount Presents line. It actually has a digital code which is rare for this line so far. This is the first time that it’s ever been available on blu ray in the states. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!