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4.6 out of 5 stars76
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 September 2003
This is an excellent action comdey. Fred Ward and Guy Hammilton ham it up and generate a dynamic action packed film.
Its a shame it is no longer on the availability list. I gather it has just been released on DVD format in the US, so we might see it again soon.
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on 28 August 2013
remember this film as a young lad when vhs was the pinnacle of technology, it was a great laugh but this version has been gutted of most of the humour n interaction between the main characters, a shame really, i was really looking forward to it too.
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2006
When this movie was released in the UK they wisely dropped the subhead "The Adventure begins..." because it was clear by the time the movie had made it across the Atlantic that the movie series began and ended here...and that's a shame.

In the directors chair for this movie was Guy Hamilton, who was undoubtedly the perfect choice to direct having several of the best James Bond movies (including the classic "Goldfinger" from 1964) under his belt. However, by the time the camera's rolled on REMO Hamilton had been out of the 007 business for over 10 years, with his last James Bond movie being 1974's "The Man With the Golden Gun," and here he was trying to launch a lesser known literary hero (from The Destroyer series by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir) onto the big screen. Still, he does manage to do a serviceable job.

Fred Ward does a good job too, fresh from his role in the fantastic "The Right Stuff" and Joel Grey is his usual wonderful self as Chiun, the Korean master who puts Remo through his paces in the martial art Sinanju (which includes the rather useful skill of being able to dodge bullets.)

And this, ironically, is where the movie really falters. For much the same reason why the initial book in the series this character is based on (Created, the Destroyer) it's an origin story and so it spends too much time introducing the characters and covering the training. There are some spectacular scenes (including a fight atop the Statue of Liberty) but they feel a little muted, tame and underwhelming amid the action spectacles of Indiana Jones. In fact the lackluster pace seems at times more fitting for a weekly television series instead of the big-screen extravaganza it should have been.

The plot involves the "death" of one character and his rebirth as the title character. Following his death at the hands of some hoods a New York police officer awakens in a hospital bed with a new name and a new face. Initially reluctant to accept the situation he finds himself in he is eventually coerced into working for the secret government agency CURE. Headed by Smith (whom Chiun insists on calling "Emperor Smith") who is played by Wilford Brimley, the agency is one of those ultra-secret mechanisms of the United States government that answers only to the President. Here, they are involved in investigating a crooked defense contractor (played with relish by Charles Cioffi), a mission which brings Remo into contact with Maj. Rayner Fleming (played

by pre-Voyager Kate Mulgrew) as an Army officer who is suspicious of the defense contractor. It is in the final moments of the movie that it finally picks up as Remo battles an entire army base in his quest to uncover the truth and bring the contractor to justice.

It's a shame there was no sequel made to this movie as the literary series really did not take off until the third novel "Chinese Puzzle." And given the fact that there is so much talent behind and in front of the camera it's a surprise that it ended up the way it did. Perhaps now, with the movie theater's screens full of origin stories, from "Batman Begins" to the granddaddy of fictional secret agents James Bond in his first mission ("Casino Royale"), the time is right to attempt to launch this series again - it would certainly get my vote.

Unfortunately we get a bare-bones DVD release. It would be nice if we could at some point get a more deluxe release, but this will do for now.

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on 9 August 2015
A funny little action story made with just good ideas, good rhythm and good actors' will to entertain and give a human touch to a quite common plot. It's innocent, easygoing and positive.
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VINE VOICEon 15 May 2005
When there are evil doers in this world and all seems to be lost. A one man or a team of extraordinary people will rise up and protect us from H.A.R.M. This time it is Remo Williams (Fred Ward); the origin of his name has great meaning.

Like a phoenix rises from the ashes of his old life in the justice system he acquires the ability and agility needed to foil the foe. It is this extraordinary transformation that transfixes us. Joel Gray is the recluse Korean that takes in this water buffalo and treats him like a son.
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on 8 July 2005
To begin with, if you've never seen REMO: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS - see it! This is an EXTREMELY classy production. It has real depth to it, and characters you will genuinely care about. But don't misunderstand me. This isn't a touchy-feely movie, it's a great action-adventure, with some great laughs thrown in. Personally, I give the film a good 9 out of 10. I never tire of watching it. The cast is marvellous. But it strikes me that the good people behind the camera never REALLY knew the best way to market the film, and as a result, it performed badly at the box office and thus the series of movies we were promised never came to pass. Incidentally, other reviews praise Guy Hamilton for his performance in the film, but Hamilton actually DIRECTED it. They probably meant to praise the always-entertaining Wilford Brimley, who plays Smith. Fred Ward is good as Remo, but the show is stolen by Joel Gray, who is quite amazing as the ancient Korean, Chiun. See the film, then read the book by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir - and see in your mind the movie this SHOULD have been.
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on 25 November 2011
Forget the plot; its by the numbers. The true joy in this movie is the performance of an almost unrecognisable Joel Grey as Chiun, master of the martial art "Sinanju" and fan of daytime soap operas. The bulk of the movie centres on Chiun's training of Remo Williams (Fred Ward), recruited by "The Emperor" Smith (Wilford Brimley) to fix a failing justice system and become the eleventh commandment..."Thou shalt not get away with it". Switch your brain off and enjoy.

"Chiun, you're incredible!"
"No. I am better than that."
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on 4 June 2014
Special features as advertised on the Arrow Video Website:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film from a digital transfer prepared by MGM
Original uncompressed Stereo 2.0 PCM audio
Isolated Music and Effects soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary with producers Larry Spiegel and Judy Goldstein
Remo, Rambo, Reagan and Reds: The Eighties Action Movie Explosion - all-new feature-length documentary from High Rising Productions focusing on a decade of cinematic destruction and Remo Williams's place among the carnage. Includes new interviews with genre expert Bey Logan, Remo producers Larry Spiegel and Judy Goldstein, celebrated directors Sam Firstenberg (American Ninja) and Mark L. Lester (Commando), producers Don Borchers (Angel) and Garrick Dion (Drive), filmmaker and scholar Howard S. Berger and Professor Susan Jeffords (author of Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era)
When East Met West - Joel Grey reflects on his turn as Chiun
Changing Faces - make-up expert Carl Fullerton discusses his Oscar-nominated work on Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins...
Notes for a Nobleman - composer Craig Safan talks about his classic score
Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress
Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the origins of Remo Williams by Barry Forshaw and an on-set report from American Cinematographer magazine

Region: B
Rating: 15
Cat No: FCD965
Duration: 121 mins
Language: English
Subtitles: English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: 2.0 Stereo
Colour: Colour
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on 27 January 2015
This movie took me back to my early teens as I first saw it at the cinema. Great memories and such a fantastic movie, bit tongue 'n' cheek but much better than the latest Marvel films. Just goes to prove that you don't need mega budgets or Special Effects - just a good story. But alas the 'no idea club' for new scripts in Hollywood strikes again. Full 5 stars. Arrived very promptly, well packaged and as always next day delivery.
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on 15 November 2011
"Underrated and why?" reads the title for my review of this film while the beginning would clearly be a cause for discomfort featuring an often overlooked casting of Fred Ward but as a reborn Remo makes his debut, the whole film is set for some hilarious and hair-raising action, martial art and stunt scenes thanks to the efforts of former James Bond director Guy Hamilton. Buy it now!
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