On his 62nd birthday, oil baron Leonard Dawson witnesses the public assassination of his son and heir, Robert. From this point on, Leonard becomes obsessed with revenge on the hitman?code name: GOLGO 13. Dawson spares no... more »thing to enlist the CIA, FBI, and U.S. military in an unrelenting manhunt for his son's killer. As GOLGO's survival depends on stopping Dawson himself, the hunter and the hunted chase each other in a breathless game of kill or be killed.« less
"I already reviewed the movie for the VHS release, so I won't repeat too much of what I said here. If you haven't seen the movie and you are into animation, I suggest you look into it. It's a fine piece of cinema, with every shot meticulously planned and a storyline that makes sense of the killing and nudity, something missing in many films of the same genre. It should be noted that my score for this is a result of the DVD release, not the movie itself.
I have waited a long time for "The Professional: Golgo 13" to be released on DVD. When I heard Urban Vision (who I assumed was dead from their lack of updates at their website) was finally releasing it on DVD November 1st, I couldn't wait. Come the date I ran to Best Buy and bought it, bringing it home and Christianing it on my computer's DVD drive. Ultimate feeling? Bittersweet.
To put things in perspective, let's review the special features for the horrible sequel that Urban Vision released on DVD long ago. The sequel, "Queen Bee: Golgo 13," (which I have also already reviewed) comes with an audio commentary by the film's Japanese director and executive producer. This DVD came with a short (barely three minutes) interview with the producer, and while he mentions one or two interesting things (such as this was the first Japanese animated film to use computer graphics) it was really a waste. A large section is him saying what an "otaku" is. Uh...Urban Vision? I think a large majority of the people watching this DVD already know what an otaku is. Any way, you're telling me Osamu Dezaki could take time commentating on the lackluster sequel but couldn't be found to discuss the box-office hit that made the sequel possible? Imagine Steven Spielburg doing a commentary for "Jurassic Park II" but not the first one, and you'll understand how I feel.
The special features of this DVD can be reviewed individual as thus: --5.1 Digitally Remastered Japanese and English Audio (which means the old Japanese track will sound like a really well recorded old Japanese track and the English audio will sound like it was recorded in a tunnel) --Interview with producer Mata Yamamoto (already discussed) --Art Gallery - let me take a moment to rant on this. DVD releasers, stop it with this "art gallery" rubbish. An "Art Gallery" on a DVD are nothing but screenshots from the film. Whoop dee doo. This is a step down from DVD releases boasting "chapter selections." (which is like if VHS tapes boasted "VCR playability") Do not tell people the DVD has an art gallery unless said gallery consists of character model sheets, original storyboards, and concept art. Otherwise, don't bother. --Trailers (the Urban Vision trailers you've already seen a dozen times already)
There are two things I am happy with regarding this DVD: 1) Urban Vision put back in the original opening with CG skeletons that was taken out in the original American release. I do commend them for doing that. 2) The movie is in widescreen format - and, to be fair, it looks cleaner in video than the original VHS release. I commend them for their job on that as well.
I now own this copy because I'm always upgrading my movie collection to DVD. I'm happy with the movie itself, but as a DVD release I was really disappointed. Urban Vision could have - and should have - done better."
A great anime flick is finally coming on dvd
Art Nut | Santa Clara, CA, USA | 05/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not an anime junkie but I think that this was one of the movies that really got me into animation alongside the original vampire hunter d and Akira. This movie is extremely violent and brutal, yet it is not mindless violence like fist of the northstar. It all works with the plot nicely. At times you may not feel as if you are even watching a cartoon, but a live action movie by how good the story is. This movie is a million times better than Golgo 13: Queen Bee. That movie just plain sucked and does not deserve to be this movie's sequel. But if you liked queen bee you would definately dig this one because the main character is so cool.
This film may seem outdated by today's standards but you have to appreciate the hard work that was put into it. It was also one of the first animated films to use computer animation coupled with traditional cel animation found towards the end sequence. It has a bit to be desired there but was groundbreaking for the time. So, if you like animation with a good plot, or are a student studying film or animation, I highly recommend this movie."
A TRUE CLASSIC
Zaki O. Woodyard | Third Earth | 08/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, about this movie that I didn't like. This movie is unparalled in many aspects from plot to script and to action. If I had to liken the main character of this movie to anything else then I would have to say he's a mix between James Bond and Leon (from The Professional with Natalie Portman) but even that is a discredit to him. This movie is full of twists and turns and constantly hits you with unexpected developments. There will be characters in it that you love, that you hate, and some that you just feel sorry for. You may even shed a tear or two for the villian. Expect to enjoy every minute of this movie from start to finish and expect the suspense and action to hold up 'till the last second. The movie starts off with action and ends with a surprising plot twist that'll make you want to watch it all over again with your new found knowledge. DO NOT EQUATE THIS MOVIE TO ANYTHING YOU'VE SEEN IN QUEEN BEE. Queen Bee doesn't even begin to compare to this movie and it's very existence does this movie a great dishonor. Do not use that as a basis for deciding whether or not you'll want to watch this one. If you don't give this movie 5 stars, then I don't know what you're looking for."
The Duke in anime
A Rogue | houston, texas United States | 09/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well I too have not seen this dvd but I do have the VHS ed. This is one of the greatest anime films you will ever see, it encompasses all that anime was striving for in the beginning. Action, artistic and iconic characters, plus the best animation we had ever seen. The effect of Golgo is that similar far reaching effect that Star Wars and Indiana Jones had on their respective genres. While the Professional does have some dated colorization, it stands up well against anything that is out right now. Action, sex, intelligence, irony, that's what everyone wants in a good "action movie." You'll get plenty of it here. By now you know of the plot, Billioniare inheirtee is killed by Duke in the presence of his father. That's only the surface plot, far more is involved in making this a great movie. One of the things I like best about Golgo is that he never changes from this OG film to Queen BEE (which I disagree with everyone whom finds that anime distasteful, it was good not great(3 and half stars.)) But having said all of these things I have to give it 4 stars because of the length. While usually I enjoy long animes, this one should have been broken up into 2 parts. 90 min is a long while to wait to climax when you have figured out what's happenining. Very rarely can I sit and watch the whole thing, not because it's not interesting, but like someone else mentioned it does 'drag' in parts. This however does not take away from the film's appeal. The best anime film out there is NINJA SCROLL hands down, everything timed and done perfectly. I would put THE PROFESSIONAL at maybe number 2 or 3 on the all time list."
Underrated anime cult favorite!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 11/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
Well known Oil industrialist Leonard Dawson has recently celebrated his 60th birthday on a ship and his son Robert has been shot mysteriously. It seems the hitman who killed him is known as Golgo 13 who is a very mysterious and cunning assassin as he's a professional who is a bigtime ladies man and snappy dresser, Dawson is so furious over his son's death that he decides to hire some assassins on his own and even send out the FBI after Golgo 13 as our man must fight for his own life.
Exciting, sexy and violent Japanese animated action thriller is the best movie about the popular Manga character around. This one is definitely not a kid's animated movie due to graphic bloody violence, sex and language galore and the animation is very stunning for it's time including some early use of CGI before today's computer graphics. The storyline is very nice and does have some powerful moments like the climax with a superb music score, this is one of the most underrated anime movies ever.
This DVD contains both the English dubbed and Japanese Language with English Subtitles versions with extras like interview, still gallery, trailer and trailers to other Urban Vision Entertainment releases.
Also recommended: "Fist of the North Star", "Leon", "Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend", "Wicked City", "Vampire Hunter D 1 & 2", "Ghost in The Shell 1 & 2", "Nausicca: Valley of the Wind", "Akira", "Perfect Blue", "Spriggan", "Metropolis", "The Departed", "Goodfellas" and "Casino"."