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Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins

One of the better (but OH so 80's) adventure films from the Reagan era, REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS not only began but also ended this film series.

Based on the incredibly fun pulp action "Destroyer" novels, we meet a pudgy, old school cop who "dies" on the job but is saved from death and reinvented as REMO, a highly trained assassin and part of a super secret government team.

Remo reports to Wilford Brimley, who spends most of the film with his massive mustache nearly filling the screen behind a very big 1985 computer and directing Remo toward his first mission.

Joel Grey (Cabaret) is nearly unrecognizable as Asian martial arts master Chiun, who converts Remo from a schlump into a weapon of death.

Grey treads a very delicate line between offensive and impressive in a key role that he somehow makes his own, even though he's spouting fortune cookie wisdom and prancing through judo moves half of the time.

Once Remo gets out into the world against the bad guys, veteran Bond director Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever) stages some great action scenes.

A battle on top and around the Statue of Liberty (during its 1984 refurbishing and filmed on location) shows off a great stunt team and some beautiful & haunting shots of the twin towers and Manhattan.

The closing sequence in a forest military target range is plenty of fun, with Kate Mulgrew and Charles Cioffi sparring nicely as an army ally and our bad guy.

You can hear composer Craig Safan straining throughout to set up a Remo theme to rival Monty Norman's Bond theme, but like Remo's adventure's, it was never heard from again.

Fast, fun and VERY 80's, REMO manages to sneak in brick size cell phones, plenty of shoulder pads and a horrible rock theme from STYX frontman Tommy Shaw over the closing credits.

When you aren't groaning, you'll be smiling.

Remo gets a B-.

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