THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973)
Harryhausen returned to make monsters for The Golden Voyage, a sequel that many say doesn't hold up to Sinbad's Seventh Voyage. I'm inclined to agree. I'd still give it my emblem of endorsement (a giant "D"). It's easy to enjoy, what with it being the same movie. Plot-wise, there aren't scores of thunderbolt twists that took me aback and left me on the edge of my davenport. You know the drill; Sinbad sails Eastern waters in search of an amulet, but it's never as simple as it sounds, is it? He must engage in slugfests with an array of miscreants, all domineered by the nefarious Koura. The pieces are there, and yet, everything feels scaled down. I know I shouldn't compare this film to its predecessor, but here I am...comparing this film to its predecessor.
The six-armed Kali impresses in The Golden Voyage's best action sequence. Apart from a ship's figurehead that stirs to life (creepy bugger), the rest of Harryhausen's creations are wasted. They look neat, but part of the problem is the lack of human stakes. Caroline Munro is sex appeal poured over a skeleton base. I'm on board. Unfortunately, she wasn't given a character to play. John Phillip Law is adequate at best as Sinbad. I preferred Kerwin Mathews, but again, it's such a stock role. Tom Baker gets to have all the fun as Koura, and you could actually call what he does "performing." The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is absolutely worth checking out at your local library. Or wherever. I see it as a diluted rehash, but aren't we all diluted rehashes? Hmm?