Karen: Today our pal Edo revives the long-dormant "In Appreciation Of..." topic to take a look at a film I've always been curious about. Take it away, Edo...
Edo: I wanted to see this movie so much when it was first released in 1981, but never did at the time. It was also universally panned as I recall, and considered a big expensive flop for Disney. However, it has since become something of a cult favorite, and I’ve occasionally come across online rumors that there’s going to be a remake, or that Condorman will even be introduced to the Marvel Universe.
I only got a chance to watch it as an adult, just a few years ago, so my impressions were not colored by childhood nostalgia – I absolutely and unreservedly loved it. It is a light-hearted, cornball, action-packed, and above-all fun romp. What really makes this movie work so well for me is the naïve and goofy main character, a comic book writer/artist who gets caught up in an espionage caper, ably played by Michael Crawford (an actor I don’t think I’ve ever seen in anything else – apparently he’s better known in the UK). It also stars Barbara Carrera and Oliver Reed, both perfectly cast as the female lead and the hero’s eventual love interest and the villain, respectively.
Here’s a really well-done, in-depth review that pretty much echoes all of my own feelings about this movie:
The only point I would disagree on – and it’s something that appears in most descriptions – is when the reviewer calls Condorman a superhero movie. It’s actually more of a spoof of spy films that underscores the often outlandish nature of that genre by employing the trappings of the similarly outlandish superhero genre (and when I say ‘outlandish’ I mean it with the greatest affection). However, it’s those superhero trappings that drew me into this film almost instantly.