After a Tibetan boy, the mystical Golden Child, is kidnapped by the evil Sardo Numspa, humankind's fate hangs in the balance. On the other side of the world in Los Angeles, the priestess Kee Nang seeks the Chosen One, who will save the boy from death. When Nang sees social worker Chandler Jarrell on television discussing his ability to find missing children, she solicits his expertise, despite his skepticism over being "chosen."
So, if something happens to the kid, the whole world goes to hell? 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