Indestructible to his enemies and irrestible to women, the professional assassin codenamed GOLGO 13 is shrouded in mystery and anonymity. If you're on his hit list your already dead. Always hired on his reputation alone, GOLGO 13 never breaks a contract. But can he survive the combine forces of the FBI, CIA, The Pentagon and the U.S. Army? Has the nameless agent finally met his match against the superhuman powers of the Snake and the twin evils of the psychopathic mercenaries, Gold and Silver? Written by
The CG sequence with the skeletons featured on the DVD was originally omitted from the VHS versions released in the US, for reasons unknown. See more »
The Ford dealership Rita runs in San Francisco displays models (including the modified Ford Laser hatchback Duke Togo uses in his getaway) that were for the European market only. The only exception is the Ford Thunderbird Rita drives to pick up Duke Togo from the airport. See more »
The R1 Urban Vision DVD uses Japanese 80's pop music in the opening and closing of the English language track, but uses instrumental jazz variations of those songs in the Japanese language track. See more »
The plot is a good backdrop for the style and the action, but it's irrelevant to the quality of the film.
'Golgo 13' loves showing things indirectly, be it by looking at things through a mirror, by looking through an obstacle like a fence, by showing the effect of an action symbolically, or (beware the twist) by only showing the effect to imply the action, OR simply by obscuring the view with bright light, smoke, flames, spurting blood,...
It even more loves looking at single elements individually. They say about Leone's and Tarantino's movies that even the smallest character is the star of the movie for the moment he is in that widescreen frame. In 'Golgo 13' every inanimate object, animal or body part can be the movie's star for a moment. A finger cocking a gun becomes an act of god.
The style is over the top from beginning to end, less by means of multiplication of the glorified things and actions but more by means of subtraction of unnecessary elements. We know people need a floor to walk on, we don't need to see the floor at any given moment. We also know where a character is at once we have seen a wide shot, we can see the character in blank space or any other background that reflects his thoughts or emotions and we still remember what the factual surroundings are.
Although many of those approaches are typical of Japanese animated films not many are as convicted in following them or as inventive in their execution.
The visual power of the movie doesn't come from the individual images, the key of its power lies in the motion.
There isn't a sequence without movement and should there be such a rare moment then it isn't there to last for more than a second. It's like hungry vultures circling around dead meat for hours and hours with deadly patience. The cadaver can't run away but it very well can be snatched away by competitive scavengers. - 'Golgo 13' reeks of death. Everyone will die, it's just a question of when. Nihilism means seeing everyone dead already. To the characters in 'Golgo 13' taking a life is equalized by the notion of creating something new, the notion of giving birth to death. In this world without meaning the assassin Golgo 13 has the edge because he counts himself into the equation. He won't think twice before risking his life, he looks death in the face like he would look in the face of his mother. To be is not to be. By the end the whole world seems to come crashing down and no character cares to go on living anymore. The movie is all attitude, no feeling, and it's so consequent at this that it becomes a statement.
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