Friday, April 22, 2011

Logan's Run [1976]

In the year 2274 people live in a society encapsulated in a dome – there is everything you can hope – no disease – encouraged random sex encounters – and no old age. That’s not because they have discovered the fountain of youth – but because of the ritual death sentence once you turn 30. Some embrace it as part of life – some run. Logan is a “sandman” (assigned to stop the runners) – Logan is given a mission to find the underground – where all the lost runners have ended up. This turns Logan from a hunter to the hunted – this is Logan’s “run”.

I quite liked LOGAN’S RUN – I found it fun and interesting – though incredibly dated. The jumpsuits – the inside of the dome looks much like shopping mall “of the future” (pretty much like Epcot Center) – the special effects were pretty cheesy especially the robot that looked like the maid on the Jetson’s – the old studio looking props and matte paintings were clean and tacky – the actors were obviously over 30 in a society that emphasizes youth under 30 - but all that adds a certain charm that is usually found only in sci-fi from the studios in the 70’s.

Of course the obvious message is that our society values youth – but it’s also a totalitarian society – where some unseen forces or group is controlling everything that happens in their little city. I’m interested in that aspect of the film – was it supposed to be inferred that the computers were controlling the society completely? I expected at the end of the film – that this issue would’ve been dealt with in more detail – that’d we’d know that the society is ultimately hopeless to be saved or if a force would try to keep the status quo.

The society as a whole felt like infants – very trusting – but I guess that’s what you’d want if you were to have this society – everyone that “programmed” that everything can work on its own.

The direction of the film was interesting – this film was pre-STAR WARS – so it had its pace – a pace that really wouldn’t have cut it in a post-STAR WARS world of science-fiction filmmaking. The acting was very soap opera – nothing special – a good hearty “ha ha ha” for when they laugh – and nicely shouted and well emphasized speeches. The action mostly involved running into a room – slapping each other – someone getting a dramatic push to the ground – and that’s about it.

No! I still find this film quite fun and entertaining – and no matter what I say to make it sound like cheese – I’m standing by my enjoyment. I mean it is cheese – but hell – it’s fun – and isn’t that what you want from a movie? I hear there are rumbles to remake it with Ryan Gosling in the lead – and that sounds like a lot of fun too – as long as they stick to the story and don’t try to make too much out of it. There’s no reason we need to franchise this as an action summer blockbuster series – not when there’s GoBots and MASK waiting to be turned into movies.

1 comment:

  1. It's a movie that sums up so much of what was both good and bad in 70s science fiction. I particularly hated the Peter Ustinov character - I thought the message of the film was very heavy-handed. But it has Jenny Agutter, which compensates for most of its faults.