More productivity is seen in the post-apocalyptic Capitol Building than the current Capitol Building.
by Ken B.
Logan’s Run is an awfully incomprehensible mess, occasionally punctured with a kinda enjoyable scene, which must be responsible for its semi-existent cult following. The screenplay is annoyingly weak, and the effects are abysmally dated. There are movies from the 1920s with visuals that hold up better than some of these.
It’s set in the 23rd century, where humans have screwed the earth up so bad that the survivors live in a great city, a cluster of domes where births are controlled by the government, and so are deaths: you have a crystal implanted on your hand, and when you near age 30, the crystal begins blinking red. It’s a sign that soon you will take part in an elaborate public ceremony with the promise of rebirth. Many have concluded that no rebirth occurs – it’s a brutal form of population control, and so they run away. This is illegal, and there is a team of guards, called Sandmen, who track down and kill the runners. Logan 5 (Michael York) is a dedicated Sandman, who often works with Francis 7 (Richard Jordan).
Logan is assigned by the vague supercomputer that supervises him to infiltrate a sanctuary where many successfully escaped runners have vacated. To increase authenticity, his years are advanced to the blinking red zone, and it is unclear whether he will regain that lost time at first. In the process, he teams up with Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter) as they venture into the mysterious outside world, pursued by none other than Francis.
The main problem (and there are many) with Logan’s Run is that its motivations and existence is dead. There’s never a reason to truly care about what is happening to our protagonists, since we know so little about them. There’s never any question of the evil nature of the anonymous castle-on-the-hill nature of whoever oversees the city, but the movie never makes an internal case for Logan’s need for victory. While it’s more or less safe to rely on the fact that anyone watching the film will side for him, the eventual lack of a surviving backdrop makes the script seem incomplete or rushed. I might read the book the film is based on to see if there are fewer problems there, which is often true when it comes to bad adaptations of novels.
Possibly the only indisputable positive found with Logan’s Run is the cool futuristic score by Jerry Goldsmith. The acting is inconsequential, the script is a mess, and the pacing is dreadful – dreadful. It’s a shocking fact that the runtime would be only 119 minutes; it delivered a more passionate reaction from me than just about any event within the film itself after feeling like I had emerged from a multihour drawl. Perhaps this may be an example of my immersion in an ADD riddled modern culture, but these are my thoughts, and so I have expressed them.
Is this movie ever awful. Seriously. I don’t know why it’s gained so much defense. It appears to own a message to teach, but it’s never fully realized in a way that provides any interest or thought. Logan’s Run has not held up well over the years – I wonder if I would have even liked it had I seen it in 1976. Yet, there are people who seem perfectly content with it, possibly through a solid layer of the always welcome nostalgia. More power to them, I suppose. Whatever. There’s no reason that you have to waste an evening on it.
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