Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Logan's Run (1976)

This movie has one of the best, most memorable titles ever titled. I say this because I feel as though I've known this movie all my life, although I had no idea what it was about and had not seen it until a few days ago. It's a kinetic, inspiring combination of words. Unfortunately, although "bub" appears nowhere in the script, it does not live up to its name.

The film concerns a future Earth society, culled haphazardly not from Huxley and Orwell but from ripped-off descendants of theirs, where man's primary objective is the pursuit of pleasure until the age of 30, at which time they are killed off spectacularly with the promise of being "reborn". Naturally, questioning the status quo leads to death as well but by butane lighters instead of anti-gravity and fireworks. Michael York, my favorite John the Baptist, plays the title character who, after a (rather short) lifetime of bringing down "runners" as a Sandman, goes on the run himself (cue title). He meets lovely Jessica (Jenny Agutter) by fortunate chance and they get wet together a lot. In water. They eventually meet up with the best character in the movie in the best special effects of the movie and are subjected to some completely irrelevant T.S. Eliot and practice some really bad decision making.

In general, despite some nice matte paintings late in the film, the effects are poor. The Sandmen's (Sandmans'?) weapons are ridiculous, the nightly death-orgy much more costly than it had to be, and the city itself an obvious model. I have nothing at all against models and much prefer them to computer-generated effects, but these come off very badly.

At the same time, there's something very charming about the two leads. I've always liked Michael York and he lends a very respectable air to this bastian of 1970's scifi. I can understand why it's still around and maybe even why I found it on the "staff picks" shelf at my local video store. But I was disappointed; I expected more from something with such a good title and such a "good" reputation. Worth seeing for some of the scenes (including Agutter's outfit), but don't go in with high expectations.

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