Sunday 18 June 2023

Movie Review: Logan's Run (1976)

Genre: Science Fiction
Director: Michael Anderson
Starring: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Peter Ustinov
Running Time: 118 minutes

Synopsis: In the year 2274, surviving humans live in a domed city where all necessities are provided and machine-controlled. Life is dedicated to docile pleasure, but the trade-off is that everyone is killed at 30-years-old in a "carousel" ritual under the guise of renewal. Logan (Michael York) and Francis (Richard Jordan) are Sandmen who pursue runners attempting to flee the renewal ceremony. Logan meets Jessica (Jenny Agutter) and becomes aware of a sanctuary outside the dome where runners can seek refuge and grow old. When his life expectancy is truncated, Logan decides to run.

What Works Well: The loose adaptation of the 1967 novel offers an imaginative premise and poses questions about obsession with youth, compromise between a carefree life and the wisdom of aging, and ultimate central control for the greater good, including mass euthanasia. The set designs are intriguing if also childish. Farah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov appear in small roles. 

What Does Not Work As Well: The narrative is choppy and quickly bumps up against constrained exposition - most of the obvious "why" and "how" questions are unanswered. Some of the special effects are straight from the 1950s, the hairstyles are from the 1970s, and the world outside the dome is borrowed from other sources and inconsistent with the dome's necessity. Given the ambitious scope, Francis is sorely inadequate as the one representation of villainy.

Conclusion: More of a stumble than a run.

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