When comic book creator Woody Wilkins gets the chance to help out the CIA he jumps at it. But he gets a little too into the role, telling his Russian contact – his beautiful Russian contact – that he is a long-time secret agent with the code name "Condorman." When some toughs try to grab the Russian, Woody makes use of his quick wits and astonishing luck to fight them all off. That so impresses the Russian agent that when she later decides to defect she tells the CIA she'll only go if they send their "top agent" Condorman to come pick her up.
Woody is willing to help again...but with a few conditions. He'll go, so long as the CIA agree to give him a few special tools he's dreamed up that come straight out of his superhero comics!
Condorman came out in 1981 and got some horrible reviews. But those were from people who misunderstood what sort of film this really was. As the film's tagline reads, this is "an action adventure romantic comedy spy story" and to that you could add, "Cold War, superhero parody!" If you take it seriously, yes, this is dreadful. But you aren't supposed to take it seriously. As a parody it is hokey, cheesy, goofy, slapstick fun – the sort of film any ten-year-old boy would love, with lots of gadgets, explosions and cardboard cutout villains.
This is a kinder gentler superhero film than most anything you can find being made nowadays. The only cautions are of a minor sort.
The beautiful Russian agent wears a rather clingy dress on the poster above, but that is more risqué than anything in the film. In one scene she changes clothes behind a dressing screen and is shown naked from the shoulders up.
There are a lot of fist fights, car chases, boat chases, and explosions. All of it is of the comic variety, with no blood seen. Ten-year-olds wouldn't be impacted but younger children, particularly those under 6, may find it too much.
One reviewer, John Corry of The New York Times called Condorman "painless and chaste" and for adults that's exactly what it is – painless. But for kids, particularly preteen boys, this is one rousing action adventure.
You can check out the trailer and rent it online at Amazon.com by clicking here or buy the DVD here.