Golgo 13: Queen Bee (1998)

Director by Osamu Deszaki
Music by Fujimaru Yoshino

Golgo 13: Queen Bee is a belated sequel to the very popular animé feature The Profssional: Golgo 13. But time hasn’t seemed to dim Duke Togo’s appeal. In fact, I was happy to welcome back an old friend. And all the elements that made the first film so popular, the sex, and violence are all back too, only amplified even further. For those offended by extreme violence and sex, stop reading now. Although this is an animated feature, it certainly isn’t a film for the kids or the squeamish. The violence is high impact and in your face!

The film concerns the skeletons in the closet of an American Presidential candidate, Robert Hardy. Hardy is leading all the polls and looks set to become the next President. His popularity is built on an anti-drug platform. But every week on the campaign trail, Hardy receives a letter in the mail. It says:
“I vote for the death of the Presidential candidate, … Queen Bee”.

The President’s right hand man, Thomas Morecombe, hires Golgo 13 to kill Queen Bee. When Golgo 13 accepts a mission, he always sees it through to the end, no matter where the trail may lead.

Who is Queen Bee? She is a voluptuous red headed guerrilla radical who fights for the Comanero Liberation Army (Comanero – being a fictitious South American country). As well as being a radical, she is also the number two player in a drug cartel. And if that isn’t enough, she also displays a sexual prowess that leaves most men wanting more, and subsequentially they become putty in her hands.

When we first meet Queen Bee in Miami, she is travelling in a van packed with a shipment of cocaine. A roadblock of twenty armed law-enforcement officers attempt to stop the van. Rather than surrender, Queen Bee mans a large calibre machine gun and mows down every living creature in the vicinity.

Most animé features do have a tendency to push boundaries in their depiction of sex and violence. And as I have already mentioned, Queen Bee is quite violent. She spends most of the time naked and making love. After all it is her sexual prowess that gives her power, and this film delights in showing her gaining power (or taking power!). As an example, after the shoot out with the Miami police, Queen Bee is sharing some recreation time, with the local Mafia Don. As they are making love, there is a knock on the door. A man is dragged into the room. He is the stool pigeon, who reported Queen Bee’s drug trafficking to the police. In response, she gets out of the bed and picks up a pistol. Naked, she walks over to the stooly and blows him away. The shot sends a spray of blood all over her breasts. Does she clean it off? No. Instead, she resumes her love making session. Enough said!

That brings us to the anti hero, Golgo 13. In this adventure, he has to share quite a bit of screen time, with Queen Bee’s backstory, but that does not diminish his impact. When a team of mercenaries storm Queen Bee’s Comanero base, Golgo 13 isn’t far form the action, receiving a nice knife wound for his trouble. But this movie shows a different side to Golgo 13. He has a dilemma. Every mission he takes on he must complete. During this story, the more he learns about his target, the more he questions his mission. And equally, the more he learns about his employers…well, you get the idea. At least the film resolves it satisfactorily, if in a somewhat downbeat fashion.

The one aspect that ruins Golgo 13: Queen Bee is the music. It isn’t funky or trippy…and only compliments the film during the sex scenes. That is to say, that the soundtrack sounds like it belongs in a bad seventies porn flick.

As I said at the outset, I really enjoyed the return of Golgo 13, but for the uninitiated, a film like this can take a little getting used to. But like it’s predecessor, if you are jaded by all the Bond clones out there, this may be just the tonic you need.

This review is based on the Madman Entertainment Australia DVD.

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