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Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) - Blu-ray Review

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Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) - Blu-ray

4 beersAs the James Bond series started spoofing itself with Roger Moore’s prolonged stint on her majesty’s secret service, audiences were introduced to another spy to laugh at: Fred Ward as Remo Williams.  Unfortunately, his duty was short-lived, limited to just this movie.  For now….

I love Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.  There I said it.  And, yes, I am cut from the same ilk of those who find The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Cherry 2000 damn refreshing.  Sue me.  There’s no changing this popcorn-munching fiend.  Many have tried.

Specifically, I love Fred Ward as Remo Williams.  He absolutely delivers a performance worthy of its own matinee (and moustache) when he discovers a wide and wonderfully weird world of superspies and assassins in this cinematic version of the once-popular pulp fiction series called The Destroyer, penned by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.

With all this talk about a reboot heating up, it’s good to appreciate what has come before thanks to Twilight Time’s 1080p handling of this critically panned spy adventure.  Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins is the first (and, so far, only) cinematic adventure of this former cop who, against his will, gets drafted into a secret government agency of assassins and martial artists.

And, yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.  Directed by Bond’s go-to guy, Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, You Only Live Twice), this is a pretty entertaining farce that, with scaffolding surrounding the Statue of Liberty during its restoration, is time-stamped with glorified 1980’s styled thrills and spills.  The film knows what type of B-grade flick it is and celebrates any and every opportunity to take advantage of our already lowered expectations. 

One need look no further than the first round of Remo’s training for proof.  Hilarious and ridiculous all at once, this seriously kooky introduction into the underground world that Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins brings to the forefront definitely celebrates a new breed of hero.    

The film opens with Fred Ward filling his pie hole with a whole lot of fast food.  He’s in his patrol car.  He definitely does not expect to be uncovering any criminal activity.   And that’s when some shady-looking characters go running by his vehicle.   Soon enough, it is with a humbling 2x4 smack down in which he’s greeted.  This three-person ambush has a point, though, and it is driven home thanks to a car-shoving assault courtesy of J. A. Preston as Conn MacCleary, his “recruiter” so to speak.

Trained by a super badass, one Korean martial arts master Chiun (Joel Grey, who actually earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance here), Remo – who gets a new face and a new name along with a new occupation – must first surrender to the exclusive training before being assigned his first legitimate target.  He will dodge bullets.  He will walk on water.  He will cruise safely above wet cement, as well.  All of this he must learn BEFORE being officially on assignment for CURE.

Except they need him sooner than that.  There is a faction of the army that is up to no good.  And oh those crooked politicians!  They will make your blood boil!  Co-starring Wilford Brimley, George Coe, Charles Cioffi, and a hilariously-engaged Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) as Major Rayner Fleming, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins isn’t afraid to take the law into its own hands.  In fact, that’s the modus operandi that fuels the CURE program and it leads to some pretty interesting consequences for our hero.

Okay, okay, so the movie is far too long (121 minutes) and Mr. Ward should probably loosen up a bit, but, hot damn, the film – written by Christopher Wood – works every angle in its effort to sell you the high-flying nonsense its shoveling.  You never knew you were in the market for a spy-based soap opera!

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins is available on blu-ray, with a limited release, thanks to Twilight Time Movies.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime:
121 mins
Director
: Guy Hamilton
Writer:
Christopher Wood
Cast:
Fred Ward, Joel Grey, Wilford Brimley
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
A chilling blend of American Graffiti and Psycho.
Memorable Movie Quote: "A hero who doesn't exist must save America from an enemy we never knew we had."
Theatrical Distributor:
Orion Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 11, 1985
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 13, 2016
Synopsis: An officially "dead" cop is trained to become an extraordinarily unique assassin in service of the US president.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Twilight Time
Available on Blu-ray
- September 13, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; Music: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Sure there’s an age to this film, but I’m not complaining.  Twilight Time dusts off Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins for its HD debut.  With a solid picture presented here in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the film is nicely rippled with detail.  It looks gloriously crisp in 1080p and supplies a decent grain.  The early HD looks at the Statue of Liberty are solid and detailed.  Color tones are strong throughout, revealing layers in the shadows as Remo scales the building tops.  The sound comes prepped with a very engaging English: 2.0 DTS-HD track.  Not immersive, but effective nonetheless.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  We get a NEW commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo.

Special Features:

With a look at the adapting of the book for the screen, a new commentary, a booklet included with the purchase, and an isolated score track, there’s enough interesting things to warrant the money spent.  We might not learn anything new, but it is interesting nonetheless.

  • Isolated Score Track
  • Created, The Destroyer: Writing Remo Williams

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) - Blu-ray

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