Saturday, October 14, 2006

Review of "Logan's Run" (1976)

Logan's Run (1976)

29.999 year old male seeks pre-30 year old. Purpose : A ride on the Carousel.

It is sometime in the 23rd century. The survivors of the global holocaust live in an Utopian-like structure (controlled and regulated by computer system) where mankind lives only for pleasure (plastic surgery, sex, drugs, orgy clubs, swinging, etc) separate from the world outside their domed structures.

This movie has a significance much apart from many other movies. It was made in the same year as my birth and this day being my year of renewal, marks this as a special occasion. Is it coincidence that a movie about pre-30 year old, was made at the same time? I shall answer that with a resounding NO. It is not coincidence.

Logan 5 (Michael York) is a "Sandman". He is essentially the enforcer of the new world. A Sandman takes out "runners"; 30 years old who attempt to flee the festival of Carousel (white robed and hockey-masked 30 year olds with flashing red crystals in their palms, wearing flaming tights underneath their robes, floating towards a white crystal and are eventually vaporized but they call it Renewal). His world changes when Logan meets Jessica 6 (the lovely and scantily clad Jenny Agutter) and her Ankh necklace. The computer informs Logan that Ankh is synonymous with Sanctuary (the place of refuge for the runners, most likely outside the domes). The computer expires Logan's life clock (flashing red palm crystal) to help him to infiltrate the underground and take it out. His mission becomes increasingly difficult because :

1) People are wary of others and are hateful of the Sandmen (only members of this society dressed in all black)

2) Francis 7 (Logan's best friend and also a Sandman) discovers Logan's run and pursues to terminate

The future world looks much like a mall. Everyone is young, scantily dressed in bright colors, plastic surgery is quite common, everyone likes to work out and exercise and the people have as much depth as cardboard cut outs. Farrah Fawcett's character (Holly 13) is a perfect indicator of the depth of people of this world. She actually has to be told her lines mid-movie.

The movie is quite dated in terms of special effects (even for the time). Future world is a model of domed structures connected by a toy monorail system. The interiors are mall-like and have a 70's perspective of the future (lots of glass, mirrors, and the heavy use primary colors). The clothing is also very 70's like. The movie proceeds in typical fashion of that era's "catastrophic future" genre (Planet of the Apes series, Omega Man, etc). With all this dated material this movie still manages to maintain integrity through the story (are you reading this George L ?). It is the same reason why 2001 continues to be an important and relevant piece of science fiction almost 40 years after it was made. The movie has the underbelly element of Big Brother, the foolishness and folly of youth, dogma and doctrine, and the exaggeration of the degradation of human behavior through lack of want. The movie is not bogged down by the social questioning nor does it dwell in the action. It is a perfect amalgam of science fiction, social commentary, action and adventure. This is a must see for science fictions fans. Growing old is nothing to fear, especially when you have Sanctuary. See you in Washington, D.C. when I'm 31.