Sunday, January 27, 2013

ANI-MOVIES, *Golgo 13: The Professional

Probably the best action-crime anime movies ever done is this, the first animated outlet for one of the longest running(and still is!)manga titles ever, Golgo 13. The manga is about Duke Togo(aka: Golgo 13), who is pretty much the world's greatest assassin-for-hire. Prior to this 1983 movie, there was a live-action one from the 70s starring Sonny Chiba as Golgo.

The Professional sees Golgo hired to take out the son of a gazillionaire oil dealer, Leonard Dawson, who was going to inherit the business from his father just as Golgo kills him. Dawson then sets out to terminate Golgo for the death of his son. He sends out everything from the mafia, the CIA, the U.S. military, and inhuman killers to do it. Having survived ambushes, insane car chases, and nearly entire cities blown up around him, Golgo eventually makes his way to Dawson's skyscraper stronghold. He tangles with a duo of cold-blooded murders(whose backstory is almost its own movie), and then crosses the freakish Snake. Dawson gets his in the end, but in the most over-the-top anime fashion.

The movie was directed by anime pioneer Osamu Dezaki, whose prior works included Astro Boy, Lupin, and Space Adventure Cobra. His vision turns this film into a gritty, almost grindhouse-like action flick. There's some amazing animation in it for its time, and if you're just a fan of great splatterific films like The Transporter or Dirty Harry, this is totally one you gotta look up. The movie was on VHS by Streamline Pictures in the 90s, and is now on DVD through Urban Vision. This was followed by an OVA one-shot titled Golgo 13: Queen Bee, and was recently turned into an anime TV series.

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