Sunday, December 19, 2010

Logan's Run (1976)

Director: Michael Anderson

Starring: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Peter Ustinov

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Welcome to the 23rd Century

Plot: It's 2274 and on the surface, it all seems to be an idyllic society. Living in a city within an enclosed dome, there is little or no work for humans to perform and inhabitants are free to pursue all of the pleasures of life. There is one catch however: your life is limited and when you reach 30, it is terminated in a quasi-religious ceremony known as Carousel. Some, known as runners, do try to escape their fate when the time comes and it's the job of a Sandman to track them down and kill them. Logan is such a man and with several years before his own termination date, thinks nothing of the job he does. Soon after meeting a young woman, Jessica-6, he is ordered to become a runner himself and infiltrate a community outside the dome known as Sanctuary and to destroy it. Pursued by his friend Francis, also a Sandman, Logan and Jessica find their way to the outside. There they discover a beautiful, virtually uninhabited world. Logan realizes that he must return to the dome to tell them what he's found and be set free.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah, but not for another ten years or so once I've exhausted every 70s sci-fi flic I've yet to see.

LOGAN'S RUN is a good example of classic 70s sci-fi. It's my favorite decade for movies in general but it was also an interesting decade for sci-fi in that they were more thought-provoking than the monster sci-fi flicks of the 60s. I'm not a big fan of dystopian future flicks. I prefer a tech-y, more positive view. LOGAN'S RUN has both.

The first half of the film is fantastic, taking place inside the domed city. I really dig the model work of the exterior as well as the gee whiz look of the interior. The whole concept of how this society exists is pretty damn neat. Then Logan (York) and Jessica (Agutter) escape from the city to discover a whole new world they were told was inhabitable only to discover it's a paradise. This is where things start to go slightly downhill for me.

Jenny Agutter needs to have my futuristic babies!

First there's the robot. They spent an awful lot of dough on everything in the city and there was so much cool, creative stuff that this is the best they could come up with for a robot? It is kind of neat and all but it's also clunky looking. I do, however, like that it's voiced by Paul Frees. That guy's fantastic.

OK, so the robot isn't that bad but it certainly could've been better. An hour and twenty minutes into this two hour flick we meet the old man played by Ustinov. Now, I dig Ustinov BIG TIME but I don't care for how his character is portrayed. He's just too silly and lovable. It's this 20 minute section that I would like to have seen a bit more cynical and realistic. It's not terrible at all but it does feel like a step down to the previous hour or so.

VERY nice score by Jerry Goldsmith. Damn, I miss that guy.

The picture's got that upbeat Hollywood ending that is satisfactory albeit a little too happy. I've heard the William F. Nolan novel this is based on is much better. Perhaps it's everything that I wanted this film to be. Beats me. I'll probably never read it only because it'd cut into my movie watching time. Maybe someday I'll just meet someone who has read it and they can tell me all about it over lunch.

No comments:

Post a Comment