Golgo 13: The Professional (3 stars)

(18) 95 min (Manga Entertainment)

A kind of nascent animé James Bond, the re-release of this 1983 action film was based on the long-running Manga comic of the same name. When taciturn, Asian super-assassin Golgo 13 is hired to bump off a Mafia boss, the job leads him up an alley of trickery, deception, and ever more inventive and bloody murders. Oh, and some truly lumpen softcore sex scenes, whose lack of grace might have something to do with the somewhat dated animation style.

Golgo 13’s vintage does indeed show through in the sometimes less-than-precise cell art detail, which often gives it more the feel of a 70s comic than the high-definition animé work of today. Still, there’s a John Woo-style slow-mo grace about the majority of the action set-pieces, and animé historians should find plenty amidst this tough-as-nails action yarn to keep them entertained.

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