Ah yes, Remo Williams. Fond memories of this one, watching Fred Ward scurry around the scaffolding of the Statue of Liberty. Does it hold up on a rewatch?
Sort of! There’s a charm to be found here. An ’80s-centric, cornball charm, trumpeted out loud and proud with a bombastic score that you won’t be able to get out of your head.
Fred Ward (Tremors), in all his gangly glory does the heavy-lifting here. He’s not the most orthodox choice for an action hero, but his smart-ass line delivery and general inclination to place his body into physical jeopardy on behalf of some goofy stunts.
The plot: Remo Williams is the alias for a police officer traumatically injured in the line of duty, surgically repaired, cosmetically altered, and pressed into duty in a top-secret government agency run by Wilford Brimley (!). Their charge is to take out major threats to world democracy with plausible deniability.
Remo is given some intense training by a martial arts master, just in time for him to square off against a malicious arms manufacturer. With a plucky female Army officer by his side and the full force of the Brimley at his back, Remo will embark on feats of derring-do like hanging onto a giant log or sliding down a 100 foot rope with his bare hands.
Look, not much of this makes sense, including the plot, character motivations, all the action scenes and the fact that the Asian martial arts master is played by an obvious Caucasian. Yet I can’t summon up the cynicism to slam Remo Williams.
This bad boy has verve and pluck and energy to spare and stops at nothing to ensure that you get enough bang for your buck, The biggest shame? The implied franchise (this film’s tagline: “The Adventure Begins”) never materialized.
Twilight Time’s Blu-ray looks great, pumping out a 1.85:1, 1080p transfer and a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. A boatload of extras: audio commentary with a trio of film historians, a still gallery, featurettes on the script, production, the training sequences, the score and the design.