Plot: What’s it about?
Have you ever accidentally stumbled into a large scheme without even knowing it? If you did, once you found out did you get out or did you keep pretending you knew what was going on? Well, Woody Wilkins (Michael Crawford) finds his way into a spy ring, and decides to try his hand at the whole spy game. What makes Woody so special that he should be a spy? Well, he’s not just Woody Wilkins, he’s also…CONDORMAN! That’s right, he has his own costume and everything, including the CondorCar, which looks like something the owner of a fried chicken franchise would drive. Woody is not crazy with this Condorman idea though, he’s a bright comic book writer who becomes his creation! Along the path to super hero status, Woody meets, and falls in love with, a Russian agent named Natalia (Barbara Carrera). Natalia wants to defect to the United States, and escape her current lot in life. Woody agrees to help her however he can, but he does not account for one small problem, the ex. Natalia’s old boyfriend and KGB officer Krokov (Oliver Reed) is bound and determined to make sure his former love stays puts, even if it means clipping Condorman’s wings for good!
Condorman is best summarized as a friendly satire of the spy genre. Not so much poking fun at the spy business, just showing what might happen if a non spy made his way into spy situations. If you enjoyed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or The Man Who Knew Too Little, I think you will also like Condorman. This film has everything a regular spy adventure would have, it has fights, a love interest, gadgets, special vehicles, you name it! The CondorCar is so funny, it looks like something right off the set of Wacky Races. And if that’s not enough, Condorman also employs the CondorCraft, a boat made especially for his aquatic battles. The gadgets in Condorman may not be up to par with those of James Bond, but they are still pretty cool. He uses a machine gun disguised as a walking stick, a laser cannon, and of course, his suit, which he uses to fly. When he is suited up, Condorman looks like he should be in a commercial for KFC, not saving the world. But the whole idea here is that while the film lacks the scope and budget of the 007 flicks, this one is just for fun, and full of fun at that.
I know what you’re thinking, this is one of those cheap, cheesy 70’s movies, right? I disagree there. Condorman may have some cheesy moments, but they are done on purpose, for the feel of the movie. If our hero was not using such unusual vehicles and gadgets, he would be just like any other spy out there. And no matter what anyone says, I’ll respect anyone who agrees to drive the CondorCar in public. Yeah, the flight scenes are kinda weak, but that’s the idea here. We see Condorman go from a weak guy in a chicken suit to a guy with a girlfriend…in a chicken suit. I know, it does not sound like a great movie, but it is if you enjoy spy movies and comedies. Condorman is one of those movies I kept putting off, but I’m glad it’s finally mad it’s way into my collection. With this disc, Anchor Bay has given the best vision of Condorman we could ever hope for, with great video and audio.
Video: How does it look?
Condorman is brought to us in it’s best form yet, with a wonderful new 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, but sadly, it’s not anamorphically enhanced. That aside, the disc looks great, surpassing all previous format releases, and being the best darn Condorman we could want! The colors are nice, and although they don’t jump off the screen, they are bright and full. The black levels are correct, and very little print damage is visible. I was pleasantly suprised at how good this disc looked. It’s also worth noting that Anchor Bay also includes the full frame version on the flip side of the disc.
Audio: How does it sound?
This film has a few chase scenes that will give your speakers a work out, but aside from those, the movie is dialogue driven. When effects are present, they sound good, and the soundtrack is off the wall, a decent listen. The most important segment of the film’s audio, the dialogue, is clean and crisp, always audible.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Nothing here. I would have loved some concept sketches, but no such luck. And how cool would a Condorman commentary be? Or at least a trailer…