Taglines: Eddie Murphy is the chosen one.
In a temple in an unknown location in northeastern Nepal, a young boy with mystical abilities — the Golden Child — receives badges of station and demonstrates his power to the monks of the temple by reviving a dead eastern rosella, which becomes a constant companion. A band of villains led by a mysterious man, Sardo Numspa (Charles Dance), breaks into the hidden temple, slaughters the monks and abducts the boy.
Some time afterwards, a young woman named Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis) watches a Los Angeles TV show in which social worker Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy) talks about his latest case, a missing girl named Cheryll Mosley. She seeks him out the next day and informs him of the kidnapping of the Golden Child and that he is the ‘Chosen One’ who would save the Child. Chandler does not take this seriously, even after the astral form of the Child and his bird familiar begin following him.
Cheryll Mosley is found dead from blood loss, near an abandoned house smeared with Tibetan graffiti and a pot full of blood-soaked oatmeal. Kee Nang reveals to Chandler that this house was a holding place for the Child and introduces Chandler to Doctor Hong, a mystic expert, and Kala (a creature half dragon, half woman, who remains hidden behind a screen).
The three track down a motorcycle gang, the Yellow Dragons, which Cheryll had joined, and Chinese restaurant owner Tommy Tong, a henchman of Numspa, to whom Cheryll had been ‘sold’ for her blood, used to make the Child vulnerable to earthly harm. Tong, however, is killed by Numspa as a potential traitor. Still not taking the case too seriously, Chandler is drawn by Numspa into a controlled dream, where he receives a burn mark on his arm. Numspa presents his demands: the Ajanti Dagger (a mystic weapon which is capable of killing the Golden Child) in exchange for the boy. Chandler finally agrees to help, and he and Kee Nang spend the night together.
Chandler and Kee travel to Tibet, where Chandler is swindled by an old amulet seller, who is revealed as the High Priest of the temple where the dagger is kept hidden and, subsequently, Kee’s father. In order to obtain the blade, Chandler has to pass a test: an obstacle course in a bottomless cavern whilst carrying a glass of water without spilling a drop. With luck and wits, Chandler recovers the blade and even manages to bring it past customs into the United States.
Numspa and his henchmen attack Chandler and Kee. The Ajanti Dagger is lost to the villains, and Kee takes a crossbow bolt meant for Chandler, and dies in his arms confessing her love for him. Doctor Hong and Kala offers him hope: as long as the sun shines upon Kee, the Child might be able to save her.
The Golden Child is a 1986 American fantasy comedy film directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Eddie Murphy as Chandler Jarrell, who is informed that he is “The Chosen One” and is destined to save “The Golden Child”, the savior of all humankind. The film was produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures and received a total gross of $79,817,937 at the United States (US) box office.
The Golden Child (1986)
Directed by: Michael Ritchie
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Charlotte Lewis, J.L. Reate, Charles Dance, Victor Wong, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, Shakti Chen, Tiger Chung Lee
Screenplay by: Dennis Feldman
Production Design by: J. Michael Riva
Cinematography by: Donald E. Thorin
Film Editing by: Richard A. Harris
Costume Design by: Wayne A. Finkelman
Set Decoration by: Marvin March
Art Direction by: Lynda Paradise
Music by: Michel Colombier
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: December 12, 1986