When a cop is forcefully recruited into a secret government agency, he finds himself facing danger unlike anything he’s dealt with before. Even if those threats don’t kill him, he may not survive the assassination training by an eccentric ancient martial arts master. Sounds pretty serious, but the focus us more on laughs and the interaction between the leads. The end result is a very uneven film with a uniquely goofy charm that sets it apart from your run of the mill action movie.
This movie about a rookie assassin launched into the crowded 1980’s action film glut failed to generate a box office killing and became something of a minor cult film instead. That’s appropriate since this action comedy was based on cult series of pulp novels called The Destroyer. Originally conceived as a spoof of James Bond and Bruce Lee movies, the novels veered off in another direction around the third installment when they became a very politically incorrect satire of absolutely everything and anything.
One of the fans of the series was Dick Clark of American Bandstand fame and he banded together with other producers to try to adapt the very irreverent and more than R-rated materiel into something for the masses. Hiring the famous James Bond movie director Guy Hamilton promised that the action would be well staged, but could they capture the odd style of the books? Well, there’s only one way to find out…
Asian inspired music opens the credit titles with accompanying glimpses of a very strange structure adorned with television antennae. Never explained in the film, this is a brief look at the home of a certain character from Korea built by many architects from around the world over the centuries, hence its hodgepodge appearance. It is a symbol of one of the bigger problems of the movie has: omitting explanations for the background concepts presented.
Normally I’m one for not having everything explained in a story. In fact, I find it very insulting. However, there is a minimum needed to bring people along who are unacquainted with the source material. This movie just manages to miss the required amount. Still, it is a nice “Easter egg” for fans of the novels.