The Golden Child Reviews
Were parts of it re-shot on orders from the Studio to make it more like Cop I ? Yes.
Was it re-scored with an entire John Barry score being dumped during re-shoots and extensive re-editing ? Yes.
Was it late for its original release window because of this ? Yes, it was scheduled for a Christmas '85 release.
Is it still a good movie regardless of all of that ? Hell Yes !
A LA cop who specializes in child disappearances is requested to save the recently kidnapped "golden child" in Tibet, who has been granted powers to save the world from the man who kidnapped him, a demon in disguise.
The Golden Child was actually really enjoyable. It was even pretty good, but not great and very easily forgettable. It blends Beverly Hills Cop with some slightly corny danger filled action sequences, testing Murphy more as a hero like protagonist. The story is decent, too, but here's where Golden Child could accel. The characters have the potential to be strong and a lot more compelling than they have been written. the character of the Golden Child himself is already compelling but could have much more to it, his powers are almost God-like and the writers had opportunities to test that in areas. The antagonist Sardo Numpsa is hardly chilling but has a mystical count-like feel to it. The essence that the character is a demon and could rival the Golden Child's powers is also not tested enough. The Golden Child could have so many uses for its characters but instead focuses on Murphy - which Eddie is classic Eddie, not much to say about him. The Golden Child fixed everything I already stated that I hate about the Beverly Hills Cop series, from a faster pace to humor that actually works and isn't just awkward. The Golden Child is good and entertaining, but it had the potential to be a lot more than just an Eddie Murphy box office dough guarantee.
Soon Cheryll Mosley is found, dead from blood loss, near an abandoned house smeared with Tibetan graffiti and a pot full of blood-soaked oatmeal. Kee Nang reveals to him that this house was a holding place for the Child and introduces Chandler to Doctor Hong, a mystic expert, and Kala (a creature half dragon, half woman, who remains hidden behind a screen). The three track down a motorcycle gang, the Yellow Dragons, which Cheryll had joined, and Chinese restaurant owner Tommy Tong, a henchman of Numspa, to whom Cheryll had been 'sold' for her blood, used to make the Child vulnerable to earthly harm. Tong, however, is killed by Numspa as a potential traitor. Still not taking the case too seriously, Chandler is drawn by Numspa-whom Chandler begins to continuously call "Numsy"-into a controlled dream, where he receives a burn mark on his arm. Numspa also presents his demands: the Ajanti Dagger (a mystic weapon which is capable of killing the Golden Child) in exchange for the boy. Chandler finally agrees to help, and he and Kee Nang travel to Tibet to retrieve the Ajanti Dagger...
"The Golden Child" was originally intended as a serious adventure drama with Mel Gibson in the lead role. After Gibson turned the film down and Eddie Murphy replaced him, the script was rewritten as a partial comedy. Released in December 1986, The Golden Child was a box office success. It earned USD$79,817,937 in the U.S. alone, making it the eighth biggest film of the year. However, the film was considered a disappointment by the studio when compared to Murphy's previous film, Beverly Hills Cop, which garnered USD$234,760,478 at the US box office. Been ages since I saw "The Golden Child" and I was keen to resee it. Eddie Murphy was hot in the mid 80s after three massive hits at the box office, "48 Hrs", "Trading Places" and "Beverly Hills Cop". But, one can wonder why he chose to do this one as the set up and script doesnīt really fit him in my eyes. Maybe the problem was the rewrite from a serious adventure drama to an action adventure comedy. Itīs amongst his worst movies to be honest, both plot (it doesnīt really know what it wants to be) and production wise. Eddie Murphy is not at his best. I do like the lovely Charlotte Lewis, but she is handled in a weird way. And Charles Dance is never bad, even if he does look a bit lost here. The effects are hardly up to scratch when seeing it today, but most likely it was ok in 1986. It's pretty poor from a directorial perspective as well. No one seems to really have had the heart in the production. "The Golden Child" can be passed and it wonīt be missed.