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Context Film / Condorman

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1[[quoteright:300:]]²²->"''Have you seen this report on this Condorman? On this man Wilkins? He is an ''amateur'', do you hear? He is ''not'' an agent of the CIA! He is a writer of comic books!''"²-->-- '''Krokov''', ChewingTheScenery as usual.²²A 1981 Disney live-action [[IndecisiveParody spoof]] of the classic SpyFiction genre, ''Condorman'' follows the exploits of the hapless Woodrow "Woody" Wilkins (Creator/MichaelCrawford), a comic book writer who is determined to bring his titular superhero to fame by refusing to write anything that he can't actually do in real life. To that end, he sets out to perfect a set of wings that he can fly around town with.²²When his friend, Harry, a UsefulNotes/{{CIA}} {{desk jockey}}, needs a civilian to handle a sensitive courier mission in Istanbul, he talks Woody into the job. Despite being ridiculously out of place, he manages to both succeed and save a Russian agent from capture at the hands of her enemies.²²When that same spy, Natalia (Creator/BarbaraCarrera), passes word to the CIA that she wishes to [[DefectorFromCommieLand defect]], but ''only'' to their top secret agent, Condorman, puzzlement ensues until Harry realizes that Woody used that as his "code name". They reluctantly ask Woody to escort Natalia, but in return he insists that they help him bring his comic book creations to life. Thus begins a merry romp around Europe as Woody and Natalia are pursued by agents of the KGB determined to get her back at any cost, complete with car chases, boat chases, ''cable car chases'', improbable disguises, StuffBlowingUp, and a daring rooftop escape scene.²²Loosely based on a short-story, "The Game of X", by Creator/RobertSheckley.²----²!!This movie contains examples of the following tropes:²* AnimatedCreditsOpening: A cutesy animated Condorman zooms across the screen (and crashes frequently), with the titles following in his wake.²* ArabOilSheikh: The heroes infiltrate Krokov's party at an estate in Monaco by pretending to be oil-rich Arabs.²* AscendedFanboy: Woody goes from writing Condorman to ''being'' Condorman.²* CardboardPrison: The jail that Woody and Natalia get taken to after their capture by police holds them for about as long as it takes Harry to get there with a WigDressAccent.²* ChaseScene: Most of the action scenes turn into chases of some sort. The most memorable ones are the Condorman racecar chase early in the film and the Condorman speedboat chase in the climax. ²* CloakAndDagger: Harry protests to Woody that the CIA doesn't operate like he's read in spy novels, but Woody is a firm believer in bad disguises, super tech toys, dramatic chases, and so forth. Because of his involvement, they end up doing exactly those things.²* ChainedHeat: Harry springs Woody and Natalia from jail, but they remain handcuffed together for quite a while because he can't find the key.²* ClosingCredits: A rare aversion for an '80s film. It's the only modern-day PG-rated Disney movie to ''not'' have any closing credits.²* ComicBookAdaptation: Of course it had one, from Whitman Comics (aka Creator/GoldKeyComics), two issues adapting the movie (with Russ [[RaceLift as an African-American]]), and a third follow-up issue, depicting Woody and Natalia's adventures after the film.²* ComicBooksAreReal: Woody poo-poohs Franchise/{{Batman}} and Franchise/{{Superman}} because they're blatantly unrealistic, insisting instead that Condorman should not do anything that can't be done in RealLife; in believing this, he actually makes it happen.²* ConspicuousTrenchcoat: Woody dresses up in a trenchcoat, hat, and sunglasses for the first mission where he meets Natalia. It's as comically ineffective as it sounds, but also causes the {{mooks}} who are after her to take him less seriously than they might otherwise have.²* CoolBoat: The Condorman speedboat used in the final chase scene is inexplicably equipped with a [[FrickinLaserBeams laser cannon]]. The KGB speedboat flotilla, for its part, comes with what appear to be mortars.²* CoolCar: The Condorman racecar used in the first chase scene is equipped with a variety of gadgets including a rear-mounted flamethrower, rockets, and a shield that doubles as a ramp, and can transform into a hydrofoil. The Russian spies all counter with black Porsches.²* DangerousBackswing: When confronted by a bunch of thugs, our erstwhile hero grabs his briefcase and swings it back so he can launch it forward at the thug in front in him, only to clobber a thug sneaking up behind him in the face.²* DefectorFromCommieLand: Natalia's motivations for defecting are not spelled out completely, but she seems to deeply resent Krokov's abusive behavior towards her. She's more than happy to go to America and watch baseball games, though.²* EasyComeEasyGo: Harry steals an embassy car in Monaco to make it to Woody's anticipated landing spot. He's having so much fun that he forgets to set the parking brake, and as it rolls off a boat ramp and into the sea, Harry sadly observes, "Easy come, easy go."²* EveryCarIsAPinto: In the car chase scene, every bad guy vehicle except TheDragon's blows up spectacularly. And again in the boat chase scene, although the latter is a bit more understandable as they are carrying mortar rockets and get shot with a laser cannon.²* FamousLastWords: After Harry steals the embassy car, he's so excited to be doing the action-spy stuff that he [[TemptingFate tempts fate]] a bit too much.²-->'''Harry''': "Oh, Russ, if you could see me now!" ²* {{Fanfare}}: Condorman has a distinctive choral salute every time said hero puts in an appearance.²* FireBreathingDiner: The [[GargleBlaster triple Istanbul Express]] causes Woody to breathe fire. He later weaponizes this against a {{Mook}}.²* TheFool: Woody starts as an ordinary guy who's in way over his head and can't seem to take anything seriously (except his comic book work). It takes nearly getting killed and apparently losing Natalia for good before he realizes that he's putting people in unnecessary danger with his antics.²* FrickinLaserBeams: Woody pilots a speedboat equipped with a laser cannon that uses the typical "slow" variant. It also [[ReflectingLaser bounces off of choppy water]].²* GameOfChicken: During the car chase, two of the KGB pursuers attempt a front-rear pincer maneuver against Woody, with one taking a shortcut to get ahead of him and cut him off. Woody, however, has a secret weapon: a front-facing shield that doubles as a ramp, causing the enemy vehicle to vault over his car and hit the car behind him. Kaboom.²* GargleBlaster: Woody's ill-advised order of a triple Istanbul Express arrives on fire and causes him to [[FireBreathingDiner breathe fire]] when consumed.² -->'''Waiter:''' "One Istanbul Express."\² '''Woody:''' "Yes, a double."\² '''Waiter:''' "A double? Nobody orders the double, sir!"\² '''Woody:''' "Okay. Make it a triple."²* [[GlassEye Silver Eye]]: Morovich has a silver false eye, which he sometimes conceals with an EyepatchOfPower.²* HighHeelFaceTurn: It's not hard to see where Woody's encounter with the female spy Natalia is going, especially when [[TheSmurfettePrinciple all the other cast members are male]]. ²* IJustWantToBeBadass: Woody's motivation throughout the first half of the story is to prove to the world that he can be Condorman -- or rather, that Condorman can be real. This despite being a comic book writer with absolutely no experience in combat ''or'' espionage. Later, [[spoiler:Natalia's capture]] forces him to get serious about the mission and put her safety over his own dreams, which ironically causes him to fully embrace the Condorman persona.²* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Krokov's KGB goons can't hit the gliding Condorman suit from thirty feet away. Given that [[spoiler:Natalia is riding on the back]], this is a good thing for both Woody and them.²** Averted when Morovich is able to shoot down Woody and Harry from their jet-propelled zip line over the Alps using a sniper rifle; he doesn't aim for either of them, but aims for the skinny pole that they're hanging on to, and hits a perfect bullseye. ²* MatchingBadGuyVehicles: The KGB drive matching black Porsches and are capable of quickly driving in formation. The same is true of their speedboats later in the film.²* NonActionGuy:²** Lacking any badass credentials, Woody manages to become a credible action hero through sheer chutzpah.²** Harry is a desk jockey, not a field agent. He doesn't do any actual fighting, though he does a creditable job of stealing a car to aid Woody in his escape... [[EasyComeEasyGo until he lets it sink, that is]].²* NotQuiteFlight: The Condorman suit glides, and not all that badly after the bugs have been worked out. Its first test flight doesn't go so well, though, with a collapsed wing dumping Woody into the Seine (a stunt that almost killed Michael Crawford).²* PsychoForHire: Morovich, Krokov's [[TheDragon Dragon]]. It becomes apparent in his fits of murderous rage upon losing Woody and Natalia, and comes to a head when he [[spoiler:attempts to ram the Condorman speedboat, despite Krokov trying to get him to stop]].²* RammingAlwaysWorks: Morovich attempts this at the climax, [[spoiler:after both his and Woody's weapons are disabled. It is subverted by the arrival of a helicopter to lift Woody and crew out of harms' way. Morovich proceeds to fall victim to a self-inflicted WronskiFeint]].²* ReflectingLaser: The Condorman speedboat has a [[FrickinLaserBeams laser cannon]] whose shots bounce off of choppy water.²* RefusalOfTheCall: When Harry asks Woody to do him a favor by taking the courier mission in Istanbul, Woody loudly declares that, "I am not a spy!" It takes Harry playing on his desire to show off his Condorman persona to get him to finally go along with the idea.²* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: At the end of the climactic boat chase, Krokov tries to stop Morovich from ramming the heroes' boat in a kamikaze run. Once he realizes that Morovich isn't going to stop for any reason, Krokov jumps overboard to save his own skin, leaving Morovich to his fate.²* ShownTheirWork: The comic book art actually looks like comic books in the 1970s.²* ShowWithinAShow: Woody's comics, which he insists the UsefulNotes/{{CIA}} bring to life for him as a condition of agreeing to rescue Natalia, and which Krokov uses to figure out his tricks. There's a heartwarming moment in an Italian villa when the local children, who are all fans, greet Natalia as "Laser Lady", a character that Woody based on her.²* {{Sidekick}}: Harry tools merrily around after Woody, rescuing him from messes and playing driver, with a bit of OnlySaneMan thrown in to boot.²* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: "If you bring the dip, I'll bring the Dostoyevsky," used by Natalia to indicate that her apparent change of heart is not what it seems.²* SpyFiction: Woody believes wholeheartedly in James Bond style spy dramas, despite Harry's protests that the UsefulNotes/{{CIA}} doesn't do that sort of thing. Result: truly wacky bathtub gin, served in martini glasses.²* StockScream: The Goofy holler is used in the opening credits.²* StuffBlowingUp:²** Quite a few cars and speedboats spectacularly sacrifice themselves for the chase scenes.²** Woody and Harry's plan to spring Natalia from Krokov's estate in Monaco involves the detonation of a number of explosive charges around the premises.²* TimeForPlanB: Russ snarks to Harry that they don't even have a "Plan A", never mind a "Plan B". When Harry breaks Woody and Natalia out of jail, he name-drops the trope:²-->'''Woody:''' Hey, ugly American. Remember Plan B? This is it.²* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: Played with -- Krokov is at a loss to figure out why "Condorman" is running around with all those crazy gadgets (and foiling his plans to boot) until he gets his hands on Woody's comic books, leading to the page quote.²* WigDressAccent: The ArabOilSheikh disguises, and Harry's "police inspector" disguise.²* WrongGenreSavvy: Woody, at first. What's interesting is that, due to his presence, everyone else starts behaving like it's the kind of CloakAndDagger story that Woody thinks it is.²* WronskiFeint: At the end of the speedboat chase, Woody's boat is damaged and out of gas. Morovich, whose weapons are also disabled, elects to [[RammingAlwaysWorks ram him]] in a final attempt to finish the hero off. [[spoiler:Unfortunately for Morovich, the speedboat is airlifted away just in time, causing him to crash spectacularly into the rocks.]]²----


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