Hot on the heels of Big Trouble in Little China, this similarly attempts to weld the thrills of oriental martial arts movies on to the Hollywood comic thriller, and similarly swan dives between the two stools to fall flat on its fanny. Murphy is a freelance LA social worker who specialises in finding lost children. Spotted by various wise oriental persons as The Chosen One, he embarks on his mission to retrieve The Golden Child, an appealing little waif who will convert the world to goodness, but has been captured for the forces of darkness by Dance. As in Big Trouble, there is much playing around with oriental mythic nonsense: underground caverns, magic daggers, even a trip to Tibet. But where the movie really misses a trick is its inability to reproduce the balletic splendours of martial arts. There is a comely Tibetan wench who can sink the odd villain, but her leaping wouldn't get her past an audition for the Peking Opera. Dance, sporting an orange goatee, is a splendid villain, looking like a Victorian actor-manager. The surprise is Murphy, who relies more on his undoubted charm than on the stream of wisecracks he usually delivers. CPea.
Cast and crew
Randall 'Tex' Cobb