The next title in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies, as I continue my journey through the chapters on the Devil’s Works is a film that features demons, magic,and Eddie Murphy, and I don’t know why, but this, to me, feels like a forgotten film of the 80s, The Golden Child.
I remember seeing it when it came out, having the soundtrack (come on Spotify, add this one!) and just having a great time with it with me and my friends. It’s got Eddie Murphy at the height of his 80s awesomeness, and the director of Fletch, and it married comedy with supernatural, well not quite horror, but something.
Murphy plays Chandler Jarrell an investigator who specialises in missing children. He’s approached by Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis) to help save the Golden Child (J.L. Reate) who has been abducted for nefarious purposes by the evil Sardo Numspa (Charles Dance). Jarrell is the only one who can do it, because, apparently, he’s the Chosen One.
The film has a recognisable supporting cast, including Victor Wong, James Hong, and Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, and Frank Welker as the voice of an unseen Thing!
Jarrell is reticent to take the case but finds himself involved in it nonetheless, and is troubled by the deadpan way everyone around him takes the belief of the Golden Child, monsters and demons all in stride. He’s from L.A. those things don’t really exist.
Jarrell is quickly out of his depth, but with the more than capable Kee at his side, he’s on the Short Path that will lead him to happiness, enlightenment and victory, even if he’s not really sure who Sardo really is.
This was just a fun ride for me, it’s goofy, flawed, silly, but lets Murphy embrace the comedy/action genre which he excelled at during this time. Dance, meanwhile, is threatening, regal and imposing – he’s awesome, and there’s some nice work on his character at the film’s climax that reveals his true nature, which is sadly, over too quickly.
In fact, the film’s climax as a whole feels rushed as if the production was running out of money and they had to slim it down a lot. The rest of the film moves at an enjoyable pace, and then it’s final action beats are on us in a blink and you miss it sequence.
I wanted more from the ending, but the rest of the film is great, it exists in its own reality, and you either buy into it from the beginning or you don’t enjoy it, and I rather dig that mentality.
The Golden Child, for me, remains a fun bit of supernaturally tinged escapist fun that I should definitely watch more often than I do. I can’t remember the last time I settled in for this one, but watching this reminded me of how much I enjoy it.
Check it out, or pick up a copy of DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies and find something monstrous to watch tonight.