ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – G – The Golden Child (1986) Movie Review

Director: Michael Ritchie

Writer: Dennis Feldman (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, J.L. Reate, Charlotte Lewis, Victor Wong, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, James Hong

Plot: A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child whom dark forces want to eliminate.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun 80’s Movie

Story: The Golden Child starts when a mysterious powerful Golden Child (Reate) is taken by Sardo Numspa (Dance) a powerful wizard who wants him for his own power, Kee Nang (Lewis) goes in search for looking for someone to help locate the child, with private detective Chandler Jarrell (Murphy) being the man asked to help, a man that has dedicated his career to finding missing children.

Chandler learns that he is getting involved in a case which does include the supernatural, one he will have to take more seriously than anything before, one that will see him travel to world to try and save the Golden Child’s life.

Thoughts on The Golden Child

Characters – Chandler Jarrell is a streetwise private detective who specializes in solving missing children’s cases, he doesn’t care about reputation, he just wants to do the right thing for saving innocent children. He is bought in on this latest case, one that will see him need to question everything he knows about the supernatural world and questions whether it is even real when he comes face to face with the latest case. Sardo Numspa is a shapeshifting wizard that has taken the Golden Child and will exchange him for a knife that would give him more power. Kee Nang is assigned to find someone who could help save the Golden Child, with her choice being Chandler, she is left to question her beliefs as she falls for Chandler. The Golden Child is worshipped, with his power being able to bring people back to life, considered special, while also being dangerous to anyone that tries to hurt him.

PerformancesEddie Murphy is the star of the show here, he gets laughs and handles the action with ease, proving he was one the most impressive forces of the 1980s. Charles Dance makes for a wonderful villain, always showing the evil about his character through the film. Charlotte Lewis is great too, even if the character is more just for filling in gaps and love interest, we could have gotten a lot more laughs out of her character, with how certain things play out.

StoryThe story here follows a detective that gets hired to help search for a mysterious child who possess great powers, only he isn’t ready for the supernatural side to the investigation, where he is the only one that could save the world. This is a good story to follow, it does show us a detective that will always get the job done and just how important saving children is to him, despite his cocky streetwise ways. The idea of a special being in child form showing the goodness needed in the world is nice contrast to the evil coming from the shapeshifter looking to destroy the world. Everything does have a true 1980s feel to it, with how the story unfolds like you would imagine, but you can have a lot of fun along the way.

Action/ComedyThe action is an easy watch, with certain parts adding to the comedy in the film too, while Eddie Murphy controls the rest of the comedy with ease.

SettingsThe film takes the streetwise American detective to Tibet, a place he is constantly complaining about being too cold, it does show the different beliefs of the people on both sides of the world.


Scene of the Movie – Getting the knife.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Kee Nang seems like a more important character than the film lets her to be.

Final Thoughts This is a fun 80s movie, it has Eddie Murphy at the highest point of his career and fun with idea of good versus evil.

Overall: Fun and Entertainment.

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