Stephen reviews: The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983)

The Professional: Golgo 13 [ゴルゴ13] (1983)

Starring Tetsuro Sagawa, Goro Naya, Reiko Muto, Toshiko Fujita, Kumiko Takizawa, Koichi Chiba, Kousei Tomita, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Shingo Kanemoto

Directed by Osamu Dezaki


A decade before Leon, it was a Japanese hit man called Golgo 13 that had “The Professional” added to the title of his film for its U.S. release. This long-ago spy thriller follows the adventures of a blue spectacled badass as he scours the globe, taking out hits on various high-level political and criminal leaders, and earning one huge grudge along the way.

Unlike Leon, Golgo’s story is not one to delve into the human psyche, or even delve into his personality at all. Golgo remains a calm and controlled professional at all times, and has the sex appeal to make every girl in the room swoon on sight. So he really bears more resemblance to James Bond than Leon, though Bond has more personality and flare. Golgo handles every situation, no matter how unexpected, with the same stoic and taciturn demeanor, even when having sex, which he does at every opportunity. It’s rather humorous to see him sit there as if he isn’t even interested while the girls flail and moan in uncontrollable ecstasy.

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Stephen reviews: Odin: Photon Space Sailor Starlight (1985)

Odin: Photon Space Sailor Starlight [オーディーン 光子帆船スターライト, Odin – Koshi Hansen Starlight] (1985)
AKA Odin: Starlight Mutiny

Starring Toshio Furukawa, Hideyuki Hori, Keiko Han, Goro Naya, Gentaro Ishida, Tessho Genda, Takeshi Kato, Tsubasa Shioya

Directed by Takeshi Shirado & Eichi Yamamoto


There are two versions of this film floating around. One, Starlight Mutiny, is a heavily edited version available with English dubbing, while Space Sailor Starlight is the unedited version that was never dubbed. The DVD was kind enough to include the option to watch the “standard version” which is actually the reduced and edited version, or the “extended version” which is actually the standard, unaltered version. I suppose it sounded better than “butchered version” and “unbutchered version.” Are they really that different? I didn’t bother trying to watch the short version, but since it cut nearly an hour from the runtime something important had to have been dropped.

To be honest, though, the film was pretty slow, so maybe trimming a few things down wouldn’t have hurt it. It’s almost two and a half hours long in its full edition, which can get pretty tiresome despite its kickin’ ’80s rock montages of people running around on the spaceship. Seriously, these guys board ships with more gusto than a pirate raiding a boat load of gold and virgins. At first I was unsure if they were taking the ship by force, or if they were just starting a rave. It turned out they were just getting to their posts. Somehow this required a lot of exuberance and hard rock. The spaceships in Odin are supposedly powered by laser beams shot from various places around the solar system, but I think it’s actually the concentrated power of pure awesomeness from rock concert light shows. How else can you explain the intense guitar riffs that kick in every time they hit the accelerator?

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