B-Movies of our Youth: The Golden Child (1986)
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Movie Name: The Golden Child
Director: Michael Ritchie
Producers: Edward S. Feldman and Robert D. Wachs
Actors: Eddie Murphy, Charlotte Lewis and Charles Dance
Release Date: December 12, 1986
Budget: $25 million
Box Office: $79.8 million (domestic)
I was looking at the movie list for Eddie Murphy and he was in a lot of movies in the 1980's. Most people remember him in Beverly Hills Cop or Trading Places. However, there are a couple of movies that he starred in that seemed to have fallen off the radar. I wanted to start with this movie from 1986.
The Golden Child was the first movie to star Eddie Murphy since the original Beverly Hills Cop. With his rising popularity fro SNL (Saturday Night Live) and his name recognition at the movies, this one was primed to be his next big film.
The movie starts with the Golden Child performing what is considered a miracle. Then there are men, lead by Sardo Numspa (played by Charles Dance), who then proceeds to kidnap the child.
This young lady named Kee (played by Charlotte Lewis), from a Tibet tribe sees Chandler Jarrell (played by Eddie Murphy) on TV and sees that he is good in finding missing persons. She then proceeds to seek him out. Chandler is found and soon afterward informed that he is the Chosen One to find the Golden Child in order to save mankind.
Then they proceed in trying to find the child. During the course of the movie, the sub plot is that Chandler seems to have feelings for Kee. So there is a mandatory love story in the background.
I cannot really say more without ruining the story of the movie. But I think that you get the main idea of the story from the above.
The Golden Child Trailer
The first thing that I would have to say is that, this movie has not aged well. The story is a weird mix of the paranormal, action and comedy, but they managed to miss the mark on each. The action sequences are very few and lack lustre. The fact that the graphics are not great, takes away from the paranormal experience. As for comedy, Eddie tries his best but other than a few chuckles, the movie falls flat.
Eddie Murphy is not horrible in this movie, but he could only use what they gave him and there was not much to work with. The improv that you are used to seeing in his other movies such as Trading Places, was just not there. At least if it was, it did not work very well. I think this was supposed to show that Eddie Murphy could do comedy and serious stuff. The thing is that he could and he is a good actor, but this movie did not help him in that regard.
The writing is not the worse that I have ever seen but it certainly will not win any awards.
Sample Dialogue from movie:
Chandler Jarrell: Tell me about the Golden Child. Kala: Every thousand generations, a perfect child is born, a Golden Child. He has come to rescue us. Chandler Jarrell: Rescue us from what? Kala: From ourselves. Chandler Jarrell: Ah. Kala: He is the bringer of compassion. If he dies, compassion will die with him. Chandler Jarrell: So, if something happens to the kid, the whole world goes to hell? Kala: The world will become hell.
As you can see from the above the writing was blah to say the least. At least it was for me.
The supporting cast is pretty forgettable. Most people will only remember Murphy or Charles Dance as the devil character.
The graphics for this movie as mentioned before are extremely dated and have not aged well. In fact, I do not think that they were good for even back then. The CG (Computer Graphics) seen here are at par with the CG found in The Last Dragon. There is not a ton of it but it is enough to be noticeable and take away from the experience.
This movie seems very similar to The Secret to My Success with Michael J. Fox. I do not mean in terms of content as they are very different. What I mean is in terms of star power. I think this movie made money as the actor was Eddie Murphy and people wanted to see his next movie. Eddie Murphy was gold back in the day and this movie shows that. Similar idea to what I said about Michael J. Fox in his movie.
The budget was 25$ Million and it brought in about 80$ Million domestically. So technically it was a success but the studios considered it a flop as it did not do as much as Beverly Hills Cop, which made about $240 Million domestically.
Do I recommend this movie? I think that if there is nothing on, sure take a look. This is not a classic and Eddie Murphy has many other movies to choose from. This is a forgettable movie hence why I put it in the B-Movie category.
Rating: 2.5 Golden Childs out of 5
What do you think? Is this movie any good for you? let us know.