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Logan's Run Reviews

Page 1 of 94
Bob S

Super Reviewer

April 3, 2007
HaHa - I wonder how this one holds up?
Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2011
Ever since Star Trek first arrived on our screens, it's been almost fashionable to dismiss science fiction as little more than enjoyable pantomime hogwash. Whatever interesting ideas the series tried to raise, more often than not the ideas would take a back seat to silly fighting, hammy acting and increasingly bizarre costumes. Coming a year before Star Wars rewrote the sci-fi rulebook, Logan's Run is a kindred spirit to the original Star Trek: campy, silly and utterly escapist, yet still passingly entertaining.

One of the initial disappointments of Logan's Run is how little of the original novel survives in the screenplay. The novel, written by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, used the counter-culture and youth movements of the mid-1960s as a platform for a story about eugenics and social engineering, predicting a society where the power of youth was so great that ageing beyond 21 was forbidden. But in the screenplay for Logan's Run, written by Straw Dogs scribe David Zelag Goodman, this fascinating premise is compressed into an old-fashioned action-adventure story, with most of the political undercurrents being taken out.

Logan's Run still has an interesting premise in spite of this - people can only live to 30 before they are elaborately executed - but in both its execution and its place within the sci-fi canon, it is much more old-fashioned than its source material. The film is directed by Michael Anderson, who had reached his peak in the 1950s with The Dambusters and the Oscar-winning Around the World in Eighty Days. He approaches Logan's Run in the same way as his classic work: as a star vehicle with a lot of locations and fun-packed action, and not much room for the darker, more political aspects of science fiction.

Logan's Run contains many references to other sci-fi works, some classic, some contemporary. The idea of a totalitarian society in which people live only for pleasure can be traced back to Brave New World, Aldous Huxley's extraordinary novel which predicted (amongst other things) anti-depressants, test tube babies, and interactive media with the 'feelies', where you could see, hear and touch what was happening on screen. The Carrousel scenes are like more elaborate versions of the funeral from Soylent Green, while the general camp tone nods towards Planet of the Apes and its sequels.

In light of Anderson's track record, the film to which Logan's Run most closely aspires is The Time Machine, directed by The War of the Worlds producer George Pal. The whole of Logan's Run is comparable to the final act of The Time Machine, in which a docile, hedonistic and ignorant society are held captive by evil forces - respectively morlocks and time itself. But in its overly frequent use of model shots and strange collection of weapons, Logan's Run is much less George Pal than Gerry Anderson. The wide shots of the domed city are closely reminiscent of Thunderbirds or Stingray, while the costumes are akin to Anderson's contemporary venture, Space: 1999.

Logan's Run is clearly a product of its time, particularly where sets and costumes are concerned. While the men get to wear full-length uniforms or jumpsuits, the women are paraded around in a series of dresses and skirts which leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. When we first meet Jenny Agutter, she doesn't appear to be wearing any underwear - something which is confirmed on no less than two separate occasions. Despite having a budget of $9m (around the same as Star Wars), the film looks like it was made on the cheap and in a hurry. Whole sections of the domed city look like the inside of a shopping mall (which it is), with seemingly little time being spent on set-dressing.

For most of its running time, Logan's Run is a very silly film. We quickly forget that Logan 5 is infiltrating the runners with the intention of finding and destroying Sanctuary - we forget, in other words, that he is a government puppet whose lifeclock has been artificially accelerated. After Logan initially defeats Francis, the plot descends into a series of set-pieces in increasingly elaborate sets until Peter Ustinov turns up to help us get a grip.

The tone of these set-pieces is generally light-hearted, with our heroes surviving seemingly implausible scenarios while managing to maintain their perfect hair and make-up. But in the midst of this frivolity there are little pockets of creepiness, such as their encounter with Box. He trundles into shot like a bargain basement Dalek and starts spouting off about plankton and sea greens, all of which seems completely harmless. But then he leads Logan and Jessica to a corridor of runners frozen in ice: Box implies that they are now being used for food, pulls out two guns and laughs wickedly. While still silly at heart, it's as though we had accidentally wandered into Soylent Green.

The silly, campy tone of Logan's Run is consolidated by the acting. Michael York manages to keep his dignity for the most part: his unique voice gives him an air of authority while keeping his more sensitive moments believable. Jenny Agutter makes the very best of a duff role: she spends a lot of her opening scenes wandering around open-mouthed in next to nothing, but she eventually gets into her stride. But aside from the leads the acting is very wooden, and while no-one comes close to the 'quality' of Charlton Heston or William Shatner, it's difficult not to snigger at how straight-laced everything is. The film lacks the knowing deftness of Flash Gordon, with only a small fraction of the cast being in on the joke.

But in spite of its copious flaws, Logan's Run eventually emerges as a passingly enjoyable slice of science fiction. The irony is that once we have given up trying to take it seriously, the film begins to get off the ground and say the things that it really wants to say. The later sections of the film, while still a little ridiculous, make up for the loose, baggy opening act and do raise a couple of interesting issues around the central theme.

A big part of this transition is down to Peter Ustinov. Gene Siskel, who once called this the worst film he'd ever seen, wrote that Ustinov's cameo was unduly extended because he was the only decent thing in the whole film. While few would share Siskel's view, his performance is by far and away the best, and his character is the most interesting. He plays a seemingly senile old man who is found by Logan and Jessica wandering around the ruined House of Representatives. The film never states exactly why he is still alive; perhaps, like J. F. Sebastian in Blade Runner, he was too old to leave the old ways behind.

Like Richard Burton, Peter Ustinov has immense screen presence. He is able to take the most ridiculous or stupid line, and deliver it in such a way that it gains great weight or feels deeply important. He might be rambling on about cats having three different names, but his mannerisms feel more developed than the other characters, and his dithering manner works as a means of reaction to Logan and Jessica, who have no concept of age or decay.

In its later sections, Logan's Run also takes on a Biblical quality, with undertones emerging in the attitude and development of the characters. Logan and Jessica's escape from the domed city is akin to the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden - although, in line with the conspiracy element of the film, Eden is too good to be true in the first place. The ending of the film is also rooted in the Old Testament, with Ustinov emerging like a nervous Moses, ready (unexpectedly) to lead his people out of Egypt.

The film is also prophetic in predicting the increased social role for cosmetic surgery. In an age where breast implants, tummy tucks and facelifts have become both cheap and fashionable, it isn't too far-fetched to believe that, in the near-future, you could change your entire appearance through just a few quick flicks of a laser. The fight between Logan and the doctor (played by Michael Anderson Jr.) is one of the better action scenes, taking the laser sequence in Goldfinger to its natural conclusion.

There is much about Logan's Run which would be good cause to dismiss it. Its production values have dated badly, the ideas are compromised by a generic adventure story, and both its plot and execution are preposterous. But it just about manages to pass muster in the end, being consistently entertaining and getting a grip on things in the final act. It succeeds where so many of the Star Trek movies failed, and while it never reaches the heights of Flash Gordon, it passes the time rather nicely.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
I love this sci-fi movie, mostly because I'm a big fan of York's, but it's also one of the best strange psychedelic sci-fi 70s movies because the story is very clear, and very good. I highly recommend seeing this movie before they remake it.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

November 3, 2010
Logan's Run is set in a Dystopian future where life ends at 30 due to a malfunctioning robot. It's much cleverer than that sounds though, questioning governments, societies, morality and religion. Its only downfall is that it hasn't dated that well. It does have a certain kitsch chic about it though and it's content still stands bold against contemporary cinema - It's still far superior compared to it's loose remake, The Island.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2010
It really sums up all the fears of mortality and spiritual belief within one two hour movie, few science fiction movies dare to be as relevant or bold. While it might be riddled with crazy 70s special effects and costumes, it also has a very mature and wise sense to it. The characters are extremely interesting and the vision itself is truly unique. Michael York gives one of the most interesting performances, due to the fact that he essentially becomes another person by the end without anyone really noticing. The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is one of the best, itā??s such a memorable and haunting element to the film itself. Loganā??s Run continues to be an important piece of film history because it is just as much about the 60s and 70s as it is the possible future of mankind. Topics like brainwashing, vanity, and politics are among the many discussed throughout. Added to the already exciting and suspenseful plot of a man on the run and you have one enjoyable and worthwhile film experience.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2008
I love this movie. It's not groundbreaking, but it is entertaining and thought-provoking.
Mark H

Super Reviewer

July 22, 2008
Dystopian society in which all citizens must die at the age of 30 unless rewarded with continued life in a confusing ritual known as Carousel. Michael York is Logan 5, a Sandman entrusted with tracking down and killing people who try to flee from participating. Illogical film (Logan's true motives are unclear throughout most of the film) is redeemed by unintentionally hilarious futuristic 70s-style set design and costumes. Sci-fi action film has spectacular start but ends up a dreary bore. Nevertheless, co-star Jenny Agutter is captivating and a pre-Charlie's Angels Farrah Fawcett is beautifully vacuous in a minor role.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

April 10, 2007
Sooooooooo dated
Jason S

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2009
A classic of the sci fi genre and a must see. It may seem a bit dated but the story is still strong and the adventure is worth it.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2009
Beyond the entrapment of lavish special effects (for which "Logan's Run" won an Oscar anyway), few science fiction films actually present a good story, much less one that makes you think and/or presents new ideas. "Logan's Run" is one of those few.

Before "Stars Wars" enraptured audiences with its stunning special effects and created a precedent for a string of similarly effects-laden knock-offs and genre wanna-be's (mirroring what "The War of the Worlds" had done for audiences in the 50's), true science fiction films such as "Logan's Run" were giving us stories simply complimented by special effects, not about them. I say "true" because "Star Wars" is of the fantasy genre; it is not a science fiction story, though it does share some common elements.

"Logan's Run" presents us with a vivid, somewhat horrifying vision of a possible future. It doesn't take place "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." It happens on earth in a believable time frame. It doesn't ask us to greatly suspend disbelief by accepting alien races and magic powers. Instead, it presents us with a chilling fast forward of our own technology, attitudes, and policies. Concerning the latter, the film includes an almost creepy euthanasia undertone to it.

Though, in all honesty, I care more about and become more closely associated with the characters in "Star Wars," the disassociation I feel for LR's characters somewhat aids the lack of individuality that the story tries to convey. The actors, however, give great performances.

Beautiful cinematography and settings greatly compliment the film's mood and timeframe, from the sterile domed city to the decimated Washington D.C., which still provides one of (if not) the best visuals of a post-apocalyptic world that I've ever seen. It's right there with "The Planet of the Apes'" Statue of Liberty.

Another thing that SW does well is disassociate itself from the decade in which it was created. You have to overlook this aspect in LR because like so many films of the 70's, it carries its decade's time stamp.

Though minor, another thing I, in particular, enjoy about LR are the weapons. Unlike every other weapon in and out of science fiction history, LR's "blasters" do not actually shoot anything. There is simply an explosion at their designated target. It may be campy (or corny), but it's definitely different and a fine example of real, working props.

Another interesting note: the film varies greatly from the original novel, but most people agree that the film is much better. I tend to agree with them.

For me, in terms of science fiction, "Logan's Run" takes its place among such decade-defining films as "The War of the Worlds" (50's) and "The Planet of the Apes" (60's) and among such thought-provoking science fiction as "Soylent Green" and "Gattaca."

Ask yourself this: what or where is "sanctuary?" Isn't that what we're all looking for? Answer both, and you'll have the film's theme.
_kelly .

Super Reviewer

May 13, 2008
Just saw this classic for the first time yesterday, having known the story from other scifi sources. I like the visuals in this, even the obvious miniature of the city's "railway" system. It's a rare scifi film that feels like the pace and distribution of plot facts feels as even and ensnaring as Logan's Run. The second half of the movie is especially rewarding in terms of depicting a foreign and unique alternate universe. It is a bit incredulous how often Francis keeps coming back to hunt down Logan, and consequently I did get caught off guard by Francis' big jump scare (though it was immediately followed by an internal groan of "not this guy again!"). Thought this was great and well deserves its label as "classic scifi".
puffchunk
puffchunk

Super Reviewer

October 13, 2007
Run Runner! If you like 70's sci fi, Jenny Agutter, plankton, and box the robot, you'll love logans run.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2007
Between 2001 and Star Wars, this was the cool science fiction movie we were all watching to escape the Planet of the Apes craze. Logan's Run offers a great concept of future life on Earth: a sterile domed city with a heavily monitored citizens, protected from the post-apocalyptic wilds of the outside world. There's the shocking truth about population control with the palm-light age indicators leading to Carousel when folks reach 30 years. There's also those who won't accept that and "Run" to a place of myth called "Sanctuary". There were some bold and memorable images offered: the street cleaners which dissolved dead bodies, beautiful Jessica (Jenny Agutter) appearing for Logan (Michael York), the freaky laser plastic surgery shop with Farrah Fawcett, the trippy orgy room, the Ankh key to open the door to Sanctuary, the ice caves with the silver Box robot and the frozen food, the wilderness and the ancient city, the librarian with the cats, the fight with Francis (Richard Jordan), and the amazing return to the domed city. It's such a terrific journey.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

March 12, 2007
Influential sci-fi that's typical of the 70s in that it's very affected and concept heavy, but not as clever as it thinks it is. It's still an entertaining chase movie though with some memorable sequences, but it gets rather dull after they leave the city.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

March 4, 2007
It is good futuristic film that appeals both as spectacular-looking escapist adventure as well as intelligent drama. Jenny Agutter looks sexy in her short-size costume.
Antony S

Super Reviewer

October 4, 2006
Dated but influencial sci-fi. The plot conceit is particualrly ace, one must admit. Agutter looks gorge, and Michael York is... Michael York. On the whole the movie just about scrapes through.
DODGY ELEMENT: The robot is amusingly crap (especially when you consider that Robby from Forbidden Planet looks better and was made 20yrs previously...).
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2006
It has a good premise, and a neat first half, but the movie is mainly to unintentionaly funny for me to watch in a now kind of world. Still a neat movie though.
Chris B

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2011
A solid and enjoyable Science fiction film that despite the dated effects, still sends a concise and interesting message. The ending felt a bit too rushed and far fetched but it can only be taken for what it is. Certainly worth a watch.
Stephen E

Super Reviewer

January 21, 2013
Science-fiction continues to be one of cinema's least-promising genres. "Logan's Run" is another one of the many sci-fi films that can't deliver, and while it's not a complete disaster, it doesn't work on any level. The acting is hokey, the special effects are outdated, the costume design is corny and cheap-looking and the storytelling is stale. While the opening hour is strong and interesting, the film's second half is overlong, boring and feels incredibly aimless. The miniature sets are spectacular and Peter Ustinov is amusing in his role, but ultimately, "Logan's Run" is disappointing and forgettable.
Francisco  G.
Francisco G.

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2012
Probably the most exhuberant sci-fi movie ever made, Logan's Run is a very entertaining ride from start to finnish that accuses it's too wide range at times.

The sets are absolutly amazing and always feel huge, despite the obvious miniatures of the Dome city, some sci-fi ideas are well realized on a visual level but sometimes it backfires a lot and it feels way too plastic and clunky, like the infamous robot scene. It's just ridiculous beyond words.

The sci-fi ideas are always strong and serve as a nice cautionary tale with a nice twist about the outside world later on but the script itself sometimes struggles to keep up with the great ideas and it shows with some mediocre dialogue and acting, the never flowing setpiece after setpiece idea and a bit of the uninspired middle act.

The soundtrack is admirable too with an amazing transition between synth based works onto classic Classical territory by Jerry Goldsmith.

A must see for every sci-fi fan for better and for worse.
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