Eddie Murphy follows up his hot streak of BEVERLY HILLS COP and TRADING PLACES with this mystical action-comedy directed by Michael Ritchie. Murphy plays Chandler “Chan” Jarrell, a man who tracks down lost children for a living. When the beautiful Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis), a Tibetan priestess, approaches him with the flattering yet disarming declaration that he is “the chosen one,” his quest for the illustrious golden child (J. L. Reate) begins. Along the way, Chan uncovers secrets within Chinatown’s underbelly and encounters a seemingly endless parade of bizarre and dangerous situations, most often spearheaded by Sardo Numpsa (Charles Dance), the devil’s main henchman. It’s up to Chan to locate the golden child, then protect him from the evil Sardo, who won’t rest until he sees to it that the boy is in his clutches.
Not surprisingly, THE GOLDEN CHILD is a comedian’s showcase. As Murphy ad-libs his way to the rescue, it appears that Ritchie allowed him the comfort of improvisation throughout the film’s production, and that trust in his star pays off. The result is a laugh-out-loud crowd pleaser with a heavy dose of action that alludes to the mystical Asian dramas of the past.