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File:The Golden Child.jpg

The Golden Child is a modern fantasy film released in 1986, starring Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, Charlotte Lewis, Victor Wong, and J.L. Reate as the titular Golden Child. It is a tongue-in-cheek take on the entire genre of Chosen One stories, complete with a Trickster Mentor, Card-Carrying Villain, and the lovable Karmic Trickster antics of Murphy.

Chandler Jarrell (Murphy) is a private detective specializing in missing children who is recruited by Kee Nang (Lewis) to locate and rescue the Golden Child, a boy with mystic powers who has been kidnapped by demonic forces. The Big Bad, a sorcerer named Sardo Numspa (Dance), wishes to kill the child to bring about the rule of evil on Earth, but must do so at a specific time with a specific ritual. Jarrell, a cynic and skeptic, is forced to come to terms with the supernatural elements of the world, as he is the Chosen One who is fated to protect the child. First, however, he must undergo his own training at the hands of "The Old Man", a Trickster Mentor played by Victor Wong, and recover the Ajanti dagger that is the only hope of killing Numspa... or the Golden Child.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

 Jarrell: Why can't someone choose me to go to the Bahamas?

 Kala: [hidden behind a screen] Do you have any other questions?

Jarrell: As a matter of fact I do. What are you doing this weekend, because your silhouette is kicking! [snip]

Kala: This is the Chosen One?

Doctor Hong: [looks embarrassed] Yes.

 Jarrell: Has anybody seen a little naked old man running around with a hundred dollars?

 Jarrell: I see you're busy. I'll come back another time.

 Old Man: Remember to stay on the path!

Jarrell: I heard you the first time! Let's just hope the path stays under me!


Jarrell: I thought you said to stay on the path!

Old Man: Yes, but you must know when to break the rules!

 Jarrell: "Only a man whose heart is pure can wield the knife, and only a man whose ass is narrow can get down these steps. And if mine is such an ass, then I shall have it."

  • Wicked Cultured: Numspa.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: The Golden Child, of course -- as a Buddha figure he's pretty much got a lock on this trope. For example, he doesn't eat the oatmeal since he knows they're trying to impurify him.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Jarrell is prepared for the whole "magical child fighting demons" thing to be a setup for a scam of some kind, and is not about to be fooled by all the trickery and mumbo jumbo. Turns out he's a wee bit wrong.
  • Yellowface: Charlotte Lewis as Kee Nang.
  • You Have Failed Me: Numspa kills a minion after he runs away from Jarrell and Kee Nang for his cowardice and possible betrayal.
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