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  • I loved this movie. I totally disagree with some (negative) critiques that I've read over the years. This was a great vehicle for Eddie Murphy! He appeared to have a great time with his part as Chandler Jarrell and he should never care about what the critics say, if he had fun doing it – and most of his audience enjoyed it! And, it WAS fun to watch as it combined some great fantasy tension with Mr. Murphy's great comedic style. You have to keep in mind that 'Golden Child' is a 'fantasy' film – just an imaginative work of magic and wonder amidst the 'real' world. During the time this film was released, I was working in a video rental store. This was one of the most popular with all our customers. Every single time, we put this one up on our monitor, ALL the copies we had went out fast with wait-list requests that kept it on the queue for months! Everyone who rented it loved it! I was the resident film critic and all my regular customers would ask my opinion before they rented – this was one of my favorites and I knew the taste of my customers so I highly recommended this one to most of them. I really feel that this film is a Sleeper – it may not have done too well at the box office – due to very poor marketing – but it hit a high in the video rental and purchase market later! (YES, I did buy this film for my own video library!). I adored the little boy who played the 'Golden Child' – J. L. Reate - but after looking at his profile in IMDb, I noticed that he never did any more films. That is sad, because he definitely had an on-screen aura and could have continued with a film career. I also adored Victor Wong, who played the Old Man (I LOVED him in his part as 'Egg Shen' in 'Big Trouble in Little China' - 1986). At any rate, this was a great film. The only drawbacks that didn't seem to fit with the theme were some of the parts that got a bit more 'adult' in nature – such as 'Chandler's rather sexual remarks about the serpent lady that was presented to him as a silhouette. It was funny, but it still was out of sync. OK, so there were a few suggestive gratuitous scenes – those were put in for the mind-set of the day perhaps. This was still an adventurous and escapist type of film which we do need today to get away from all the hard core reality and depressing fluff that we are hit with from Hollywood. Now that's Entertainment!
  • Whenever I see most reviews it's called 'a misfire for Eddie Murphy'. These critics want to take a look at some of the stuff he's doing these days, and maybe soften their stance in retrospect... "The Golden Child" is not highbrow entertainment, but thanks to some of the cast it breathes new life into old clichés, and gives Murphy one of his best roles. I don't understand the pervading lack of 'love' for its efforts, at all. Perhaps it was released at a time when the establishment had grown weary of knockabout, thrill-a-minute adventures? Steven Spielberg started it with Indiana Jones; it's unfair to make this one a scapegoat when what is possibly its biggest sin is also utterly harmless. There's nothing necessarily wrong with trying to capitalise on trends.

    Yes it's silly, but even an occasional observer should be able to understand that 'ridiculous' is where Hollywood's idea of mysticism begins and ends. What's more important than believability with a story like this is that the audience have entertaining tour guides on hand to show them the mysterious sights. Michael Ritchie and Eddie Murphy fit the bill for this capacity just fine. My advice to you is to buy the ticket and take the ride.
  • Gislef29 January 1999
    The premise may seem goofy, but since Murphy's character doesn't take it seriously, it helps ease the audience into this mix of mysticism and modern-day hard-boiled child abduction. Excellent cast, particularly Charles Dance and Charlotte Lewis, and Murphy is at the height of his 80's peak in comedy/action. There's also some great F/X, a very surreal dream sequence, and a fairly original plot. Often overlooked in the pantheon of Murphy flicks, but this one is worth a look.
  • "The Golden Child" was Eddie Murphy's first film since his megahit "Beverly Hills Cop". And even though it's not as good as "Cop", it's a fun comic adventure. Murphy stars as a finder of lost children who's assigned a most unusual case. His assignment: to find the title character, a child with mystical powers. This movie could have been titled "Beverly Hills Cop and the Temple of Doom" since parts of this movie plays like a Spielbergian adventure, kinda like an Indiana Jones comedy. It's got comedy with laughs, and adventure with special effects. Lots of fun.

    *** (out of four)
  • Why hardly anybody seems to appreciate this film anymore is without doubt one of the greatest mysteries of our time. I'm truly perplexed. Roger Ebert seems to be the only critic to at least half-realise how truly funny, entertaining and brilliant a film THE GOLDEN CHILD really is.

    Without doubt it's one of Eddie Murphy's finer films; it's impossible to not have a good time while watching this movie... his one-liners keep coming thick and fast, and if you can't find humour and fun in this movie, then surely your heart is made of stone. Visually, its cinematography is executed very well, the special effects are fantastic (except in one poorly executed shot where Charles Dance turns into a rat) and the theme tune has a strange kind of catchiness to it.

    Don't be prejudiced against this movie, just because everybody else is. People are so easily swayed by popular opinion these days that true cinematic gems like THE GOLDEN CHILD are forgotten. Four stars out of four. Long live 80s movies!
  • I first saw this movie on television some years ago and frankly loved it. Charles Dance makes one of the most terrifying villains anyone can imagine. His sophistication is such a perfect contrast to the crudely good hero. I have never been much of an Eddie Murphy fan but find his irritating portrayal here a winner: a bit of "Axel Foley Through the Looking Glass". Charlotte Lewis is, to utilize a hackneyed phrase but the only one applicable, luminously gorgeous. Some scenes are wonderfully created: the dream sequence, the bird, the silly fight scenes, and the climactic confrontation. Through it all Murphy is the modern man suddenly dropped into an oriental myth, a stunned and quieter version of Kurt Russell in his oriental fantasy romp. Like that movie we have James Hong, the incomparable actor whose scenes, however short, raise the quality even of Derek. Since 1955 Hong has defined the fine supporting actor, the "class act" of his profession. "The Golden Child" is silly; it is not perfect; but it has so many redeeming features that it is an enjoyable and amusing fantasy, well worth watching. After four years I have seen "The Golden Child" again; I enjoyed it even more! It truly is great fun.
  • Mister-610 October 1999
    Every once in a while, Eddie Murphy will surprise you.

    In a movie like "the Golden Child", especially. This is a movie you'd figure would star maybe Harrison Ford or Kurt Russell or someone. But Eddie really does work; he's smart, he's funny, he's brave, kind, courteous, thrifty, clean and everything else a hero should be.

    Having been chosen to secure a mystic child who holds the key to protecting the world from complete evil (embodied perfectly by Dance), Eddie goes from California, to Nepal and back, all while the beautiful Kee Nang (Lewis) wonders if he's all he says he is and a crazy old holy man (Wong, perfect as always) knows that he is.

    It's exciting, breathtaking in spots, shocking and, of course, funny. Eddie is the only action hero I know who could begin a movie by making rude remarks behind some guy reading a porno magazine and end it with smart-aleck remarks about Ed McMahon.

    No problem with this "Child": it's a "Golden" find.

    Nine stars. Viva Nepal!
  • Like most people, I enjoyed Eddie Murphy in the 1980s with the humorous, wild movies he made. Many of the characters he played were similar: wisecracking, loud, funny and obnoxious. This is one of the wilder stories he was involved with with a very good mixture of action, romance, fantasy and comedy.

    The female lead in here was an attractive actress named Charlotte Lewis. With her looks and manner, I thought she might go places, but I think this was the only hit movie she's been in.

    Twenty years after "The Golden Child," I have found most of those Murphy films not the entertainment they used to be. Maybe it's just me getting older, but Eddie's constant shouting and abrasive boorishness is too much to take now. That includes this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love this film. It is well written and acted and has good cinematography. The story blends action, humor, mysticism, and tenderness with great sets and beautiful location shots. See it, buy it, show it to your friends.

    The acting is good and Murphy especially does a fine job portraying the reluctant/unlikely hero. I enjoyed all the characters and found them to be interesting and well developed with dynamic interactions.

    I cared what happened to these people and, while the outcome was pretty predictable (the good guys win, the hero gets the astonishingly attractive girl and the holy child saves lives--who doesn't see that coming?), it still made me happy when everything worked out well in the end. Thank God this film's dignity was never ruined with a crappy sequel. Grab some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch, and watch this fun, happy and entertaining film.
  • By all means this is not Eddie Murphy's best film, like Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hours and Trading Places, but he has also done worse, Norbit anyone? But it is one of his most underrated films, perhaps even THE most underrated. By all means it is not perfect, as the story does have its silly and predictable moments, one or two parts in the middle half sag a tad in the pacing and the effects do seem creaky by today's standards, but it is not flat and unfunny like critics make it out to be and although I make every effort not to take IMDb ratings to heart I do think the rating is a disgrace for this film. The Golden Child may be flawed, but it also has its strengths, such as Eddie Murphy's charming performance, funny and smart script(or so I think), a fun performance from Charles Dance, decent direction and agreeable soundtrack. So overall, while it mayn't be to everybody's tastes, I do suggest you at least give The Golden Child a fair chance before judging it so harshly. 7/10 Bethany Cox
  • When the only truly pure being on Earth is taken by a Demon and his bizarre, circus freak troupe of minions from the holy place where he is being raised who you gonna call? In this case Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy), a private investigator who focuses on locating missing children while wearing ridiculous hats.

    But Chandler sez "No" when initially asked by the exotic-hot Kee, who is working on behalf of the Tibetan forces of good - some business card that would be.

    "No matter", she replies, "You are already on the case". So Na-Na to you Mr Jarrell.

    Jarrell is fast talking, hip, and irreverent but well meaning - in other words everything that summed up Eddie Murphy in his "relevant" phase, which ended around the release of Boomerang when Murphy got all serious and introspective and sh*t.

    Kee on the other hand is poised, deliberate, sombre and calm, but surprisingly well equipped at unexpected times - and I'm not just referring to the scene where she gets her white blouse soaked for no good reason... well two good reasons.

    After the two team up the trail takes them to the lair of a bikie gang, then Chinatown where they meet Kala the Oracle (of sorts) who informs Chandler of the magnitude of his quest - being that he is the Chosen One after all...

    Chandler also learns that the Golden Child is a once in a thousand generations birth, born specifically to rescue humanity, capable of restoring life with a touch, wise beyond reason and with the ability to make a Pepsi can dance to classic 1950s songs...

    So there's that.

    There is a cool oddball dream sequence and a trip to Tibet to obtain the sacred dagger that can free the imprisoned Golden Child, and a pretty hilarious scene where Chandler and Kee have to bluff the airport security to escape from Tibet.

    When finally meets his nemesis Sardo Numspaa (Charles Dance) formally to discuss the dagger for child swap things heat up, before a good quickie 80s finale in which everything builds to a crescendo, the figureheads of good and evil have a showdown and all is resolved in about 6 minutes.

    Perhaps The Golden Child doesn't move quite as fast as films do today and the FX - which were pretty cool in the 80s - don't hold up quite so well now, it is fun and enjoyable while it lasts and also has a few quotables, including "One of her ancestors was raped by a dragon", which is a line you don't hear every day.

    Final Rating - 6.5 / 10. Not often listed among Eddie Murphy's highlights, but The Golden Child is a very solid and worthwhile - if a little dated - relic from the 80s.
  • A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child who dark forces want to eliminate.

    John Carpenter was originally scheduled to direct the film, but dropped out and would later direct "Big Trouble in Little China", a film with similar Chinese mysticism themes (Chinese American actors Victor Wong, James Hong, and Peter Kwong appear in both films). Starring Kurt Russell, Carpenter's project was reported to have been rushed through post-production to ensure a premiere date that preceded "The Golden Child".

    I love that the two films have this history because watching "Golden Child" instantly makes me think of "Big Trouble". For as much as they do not have in common, there just are not that many films with fantastic Chinese elements in them. At least not in American film.
  • iinokon2 August 2010
    How can't anyone like The Golden Child? I saw this as a kid with my brothers and sisters and I remember watching it over and over and over again. We all loved it and we still do. I give it a 10/10. It was witty, funny, great action and the story was very cool. Golden Child is one of those movies that no matter how many times I've seen it before, I'd be willing to see it again. Eddie was hilarious, Charlotte was hot and the supporting cast was awesome. The chemistry between Eddie, Charlotte and the kid who played "Golden Child" was great! Only a person without any type of imagination could say that this was not a great movie.

    I wish that I had 4 hands so that I could give this movie 4 thumbs up!
  • I would lie if I said that this movie is good, it isn't. The plot is down the drain and so unlogical that it makes my head ache, but the movie does have some qualities. The actors are OK and the footage can't be complained at either and I must add that thanks to Eddie Murphy the movie is watchable and even funny.

    I don't know how he does it but his zany jokes keeps hitting the right comedy-button - every time.

    So the conclusion is that, in the end I must recommend you all to see it - if not for a brilliant movie but for Murphy's jokes.
  • Eddie Murphy plays Chandler Jarrell, a man who devotes his time to finding lost children. When the beautiful Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis) enters his life, she tells him he is the chosen one and he must find the Golden Child. Sceptical and driven purely by lust and intrigue, Jarrell gets involved without realising he's about to embark on a fantastical journey - one that involves peril and worst of all, the demon Sardo Numspa.

    Is The Golden Child a product of its time? By that I mean, was Eddie Murphy and The Golden Child's popularity exclusive to late 1980s audiences? For I can remember vividly how much this film entertained folk back in that decade, while the box office was $79,817,937, making it the 8th biggest earner of 1986. Yet since the 80s faded from memory it has become the in thing to deny Eddie Murphy pictures the comedy accolades that they actually once had. The Golden Child is not up with the more accepted 80s Murphy pictures such as Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, but upon revisiting the film you find Murphy at his wisecracking, quipping and charming best!

    Cashing in on a fantasy action formula that was reinvigorated and templated by Raiders Of The Lost Ark in 1981, The Golden Child hits all the required genre buttons. Pretty girl, daring reluctant hero with a quip in his armoury, dashing villain (Charles Dance so splendidly British), vibrant colour photography (Donald E. Thorin), and a cute kid with mystical powers. The film only asks you to get involved in the fun, not to dissect and digress its worth as a cranial fantasy picture.

    Ok! so now the CGI demon looks creaky, and yes the genre had far better pictures in the 80s, 90s and beyond, but really this isn't meant to be taken seriously. Watch as Murphy does a scratch number on a sacred pillar, note his visual comedy when he gets an answer to his question that he can't believe, or enjoy his lines to Charles Dance and to a silhouetted dragon woman - prime Murphy on show. A jolly good show and something of a bad mood lifter when required. 7/10
  • At least "The Golden Child" represented a real change of pace for comedy star Eddie Murphy, cast here as Chandler Jarrell, a tracker of missing children whom, it is determined, is the perfect individual to retrieve a powerful child (J.L. Reate) who's been stolen by some very bad men. Should they succeed in corrupting the child, they can kill him and thus allow for evil to take over the planet. Jarrell is reluctant to accept this task (among other things, he doesn't want to experience the cold of Nepal) but, ultimately, his better nature takes over. "The Golden Child", as directed by Michael Ritchie and written by Dennis Feldman, takes what is a rather traditional fantasy quest and melds it with a contemporary, wise acre sensibility. Murphy is good and very likable in this part, and livens some scenes with his quips. He doesn't do too bad in the hero department, either. The great Charles Dance, as his nemesis, is a hoot with his straight faced performance. Charlotte Lewis is lovely to look at but that's about it. Old pros Victor Wong and James Hong add to the movie with their presence; Wong is fun in one of his standard eccentric roles. One can also hear the legendary and ultra ubiquitous Frank Welker lending a voice to an unseen demon, a voice just like the one he provided for Dr. Claw on the 'Inspector Gadget' series. There's a certain oddness to a particular sequence in the movie - the dream sequence - that makes it a real curio, as Feldman and Ritchie have fun with the whole weirdness of dreams. Dance appears to try to make Murphy an offer, and in response to some of Murphy's one liners, there's a cut to a studio audience laughing away. One of the best lines has to be, "Would you get your monkey off my back?", as Murphy refers to a henchman of Dance's with a primate like face. Granted, when Murphy gets to Nepal, there could have been a better fantasy quotient. As it is, the sequence where he proves his worth as the rescuer of the child could have had a little more meat to it. Some scenes come off as fairly awkward, but the ones that work are quite funny. The special effects aren't the greatest, but they lend a cheesy charm to the various goings-on. Michel Colombier's music is lively and loud, and the location shooting in Nepal is excellent, lending some much appreciated atmosphere. All of this is reasonably entertaining, and interesting enough. Don't let the scathing reviews dissuade you from giving it a chance. It's a nice alternative to the other Murphy vehicles from the period. Seven out of 10.
  • I am glad to see that at least one person 9Mr/Ms Gislef) has noticed the dream sequence in this film.The finesse the director has displayed with in that scene in my opinion is worthy of comparison to say David Lynch.Few directors get the 'feel' of a dream and know how to portray.Michael Ritchie has succeeded admirably in conveying a sense of subtle and not so subtle incoherence and ominosity that leaves the viewer unnerved.Also the film has made interesting use of Tibetan mythology to create interesting situations and great comedy.I think this is Eddie Murphy's best film.
  • haabibkiller11 August 2006
    I grew up watching this movie ,and I still love it just as much today as when i was a kid. Don't listen to the critic reviews. They are not accurate on this film.Eddie Murphy really shines in his roll.You can sit down with your whole family and everybody will enjoy it.I recommend this movie to everybody to see. It is a comedy with a touch of fantasy.With demons ,dragons,and a little bald kid with God like powers.This movie takes you from L.A. to Tibet , of into the amazing view of the wondrous temples of the mountains in Tibet.Just a beautiful view! So go do your self a favor and snatch this one up! You wont regret it!
  • Eddie Murphy spends his time looking for lost children, so when a very special magical child is kidnapped in Tibet, the sexy Charlotte Lewis asks for his help to rescue this child from the clutches of evil itself.

    Although the story is a bit silly, it never quite feels corny, despite the hilarity of the comedy throughout the film; Charles Dance off-sets the comedy with his very serious and dark characterisation of the evil that holds the child hostage.

    The Golden Child is very funny, action packed and really quite compelling in a charming, almost magical way.

    7/10 Great for all generations.
  • An attractive, strange Asian woman proclaims you're the "chosen one". A little Asian boy astrally projects himself outside your window. A demon disguised as a man burns a mark in your arm with his fingernail... that's strange, but it is Los Angeles. That pretty much was the reaction of Jarell Chandler (Eddie Murphy). I'm not saying that that is the reason I didn't like the movie, but it was a big contributor.

    I understand that the movie was fantasy, but to Jarell, and the rest of the otherwise normal citizens of L.A., these events were admittedly not normal. So how in the world was his reaction so tame?

    Jarell Chandler's indifferent response summed up Eddie Murphy's performance. Eddie Murphy wasn't classic Eddie Murphy. He had a few good lines but this was easily one of his worst movies. I never saw Pluto Nash and Norbit was somewhat of a downer but this movie was in his heyday. The movie really depended on Eddie delivering, and I mean REALLY depended on him because the story was weak and the other actors were even weaker than the story. Of course we know that Eddie's career wasn't defined by this movie and thank God for that.
  • This movie was good for it's time. If you like Eddie Murpy this is a must have to add to your collection. Eddie was young and funny with his 80's haircut. Charlotte Lewis, Eddie's costar is hot. This was one of her first movies and she was not bad. The graphics were good for the 80's. A lot of the actors went on to do other good movies you should check them out through IMDb. Other must have from Eddie is "Coming to America" and "48 hours". Another actor "Victor Wong" has a small part in this movie. Check out some of his older movies like "Big trouble in little china". If you liked the action movies from the 80's this is your movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Right away, I'll say that the plot for this movie is downright asinine. A toddler could have typed the script up. But thankfully, Eddie Murphy is downright hilarious in this film, making jokes and acting goofy in every scene. This movie contains some of the funniest scenes I've ever seen. While most people may just consider them.....whatever they want....I crack up just thinking about them. For example, the scene where Chandler (Eddie) walks into the bar and starts harassing the customers to tell him where Tommy Tong (who works for Sardo the demon) makes me laugh hysterically every time I see it. And the first scene where Chandler is on a talk show trying to tell the public about a missing girl and the flakey host keeps interrupting him also tickles my crazy bone. Hmm, lemmie think of one more: AHA! The dream scene where Chandler meets Sardo and his henchmen is making me laugh right now as I think about it while typing. There are just too many other funny scenes that make me chuckle uncontrollably to list here.

    If you decide to rent this, you'll be in for some good laughs, even if you're not an Eddie Murphy fan. AND REMEMBER: STAY ON THE PATH!!!
  • I am guessing the reason this movie did so well at the box office is of course Eddie Murphy. I think this was his first movie since "Beverly Hills Cop" so at the time he was hot. Considering that one made over two hundred million and it was R and this one made about 80 million and it was pg does say it was not all that popular. I have never been a big Eddie Murphy fan, so that is probably another reason I didn't care for it much at all. This one has Eddie as some sort of finder of lost kids. He must find the golden child or the world is in terrible peril. The plot is very bad, but as bad as it is it does not compare to the special effects. I had seen better stuff done in the 70's than some of the stuff this one offers, Ray Harryhausen did better stuff. Still the main reason you see a movie like this is because of Eddie, unfortunately he is not very funny in this one at all and it just seems stupid to put him in the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" type scenes. I guess they were hoping for a fish out of water effect, but to me it just did not work.
  • Why is it that when a star reaches the top of the star chain, they ruin all the good work by making a bad movie? Burt Reynolds peaked, then started making dreadful Hal Needham car chase flicks. Arnold Schwarzenegger became the hottest property in Hollywood, only to invite derision upon himself with the appalling Last Action Hero. And here, loquacious Eddie Murphy erases memories of Trading Places and 48 Hours with this "family" adventure flick, which is an unbelievably tedious, childish and generally plain awful misfire in which the chance to see Charlotte Lewis's great big breasts in a tight blouse is the most appealing aspect of the entire film.

    The story is pure humdrum. It concerns social worker Murphy, contacted by mysterious types and told that he is the Chosen One. Chosen for what, I hear you ask. His job is to rescue a Tibetan boy with mystical powers from a race of demons who want to rule the world. As the main demon, classy actor Charles Dance looks terribly embarrassed to be in the film, but hey, I'm sure he was well paid for sacrificing his talents. Of all Murphy's films, this is easily the worst. I've read some reviews which suggest that it is nice to see Murphy in an atypical role, in a non formulaic kind of film, and while both points are loosely true there's no forgiving the fact that the film - however atypical and non formulaic it might be - is an absolute load of garbage.
  • gordon-7312 November 2002
    This was a highly original decent movie, and a brave move for all those involved. I don't care if it's not the most well put-together movie of all time, the fact that it has Eddie Murphy doing something non-formulaic, and that I don't know what will happen next, makes it a favorite of mine. I wish more movies were as imaginative as this one, rather than the same old formula for entertainment.
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