The adventure begins when Remo (Ward) is “killed” while investigating a robbery at a ship yard and wakes up in a hospital after having undergone surgery to alter his appearance and with a man in his room who tells him that he has been enlisted in a secret government sanctioned organization of assassins. It’s an offer he “can’t refuse” because, as far as the rest of the world knows, he is already dead.
The concept of this film is hilariously awful, but it has one huge saving grace, which is the martial arts training Remo receives from Chiun (Grey). Joel Grey plays Chiun and he is, honestly, the very best thing about this movie. If you don’t know who Joel Grey is and have seen the movie Cabaret, he is the flamboyant “Master of Ceremonies”. He also had a part in the 2008 movie, Choke, starring Sam Rockwell. We are led to believe that the training takes a long time to complete, which is apparent because it also takes up the bulk of the film’s runtime. To give you an idea of the hilarity of the training, imagine if Neo could dodge bullets but by moving very slowly, or if you remember the scene from The Golden Child with Eddie Murphy where he has to jump from pillar to pillar to get to the knife, imagine if he had been made to do that blindfolded.
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins has a cheesy storyline and less than amazing acting, but is totally worth the watch if you want a fun action comedy. Apparently, there was a sequel that was I not aware of but will have to check out and report back on.