Thursday, January 9, 2014
Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Condorman (1981)
"Have you seen this report on this Condorman? On this man Wilkins? He is an AMATEUR, do you hear? He is NOT an agent of the CIA! He is a WRITER OF COMIC BOOKS!" - Krokov
"I'll bring the dip, if you bring the dostoevsky." - Woody Wilkins
"Do me a favor, will ya Woody? Get on the train, order a stiff drink, stay out of trouble?" - Harry Oslo
I remember being completely amazed by this movie as a kid. I still think that the design of his costume and his car and his boat is some of the most amazing styled out super getups I've ever seen, and believe me, I've spent WAAAAY too much money on comic books to not know about super hero getups. The colors and the design are completely amazing. This is the story of Woody Wilkins, a comic book dreamer, who becomes a hero. Starring almost no one you'd probably recognize, but nonetheless Oliver Reed and James Hampton were in a ton of stuff, one of the few Disney movies that I feel fits outside the "Disney" brand (alongside WATCHER IN THE WOODS and ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN), I present CONDORMAN!!!
Condorman is the story of Woody, a comic book artist who believes in the realism of his character SO much, that he won't allow him to do anything in the comic book that he cannot do in real life. He believes and stands by that so much, that he built his own set of wings in the beginning of the flick and tests them out by jumping off of the Eiffel Tower. However one of his wings breaks and he ends up falling into the Seine River. Now Woody is friends with this dude Harry who works for the CIA. After fishing Woody out of the river, Harry ends up asking Woody for a favor.
The CIA needs someone other than an agent to do some kind of handoff with another agent in Russia. So Harry enlists Woody to do it after some haranguing. Woody ends up being super excited about the idea and is warned by Harry to knock it off with the Bogart routine. Anyway Woody meets up with the Russia spy who is this hot chick named Natalia. We find out she actually works for the KGB. Woody pretends to actually work for the CIA and says his code name is Condorman. He basically "NAKED GUN"'s his way through a bungled hand off and foils some counter intelligence spy's attempt to kill them. Natalia is impressed and over living in Russia with her shitty boyfriend/bad guy and decides to defect to the US. Her only qualm is that she wants agent "Condorman" to help her do it.
So the Feds are like, Harry, who the hell is Condorman? And he has to figure out how to get the job done and keep Woody from getting killed. But Woody will only agree to do it if the Feds will fund some Condorman style toys fo him such as the Condormobile and the Condorboat. It's ludicrous to think that the Feds would actually spend this kind of money to secure the safe passage of a known enemy spy, but then again, thinking about how much money just a regular old lobbyist in DC makes, maybe its not so ludicrous. So Woody does some rescuing and they travel from Yugoslavia to Italy, to Switzerland (which sounds crazy, but I've ridden those roads in the Alps, and it really is just like passing through states in the mountains. High, beautiful mountains) and then on their way to France to finally return home, they encounter trouble. A real one-eyed bad guy named Morovitch kidnaps Natalia and takes her to Monte Carlo where her bad guy boss/bf Krokov. Woody and Harry are supposed to go home, but Woody makes a last ditch effort to save Natalia.
I don't know if its PC or not these days to dress up like Arab sheiks, but in the 80s they did it all the time (CANNONBALL RUN II, CLASH videos). Anyway that's how Woody sneaks into the Monte Carlo casino and proceeds with his plan to rescue his girl. Twenty more minutes of speed boat chases later and they're snacking on chili dogs at a Dodgers game and Harry's bosses are asking if Condorman might be interested in another assignment. Was there to be a sequel? Maybe, but perhaps we'll never know, because they sure as hell never made it. And you'd be hard pressed to find anyone under 30 who's even heard of this movie. I think it MIGHT be on DVD now. Yep, I looked it up. You're all in luck. Find it. And watch it.