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Masters of the Universe (1987)

tomatometer

13

Average Rating: 3.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

41

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 48,262

My Rating

Movie Info

Dolph Lundgren stars in this live-action film version of the popular television cartoon series (based on a collection of Mattel action figures). Lundgren is He-Man, a well-muscled super-hero, battling the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) for control of the universe. Skeletor has designs on conquering the planet Eternia, a ravaged utopia ruled over by the Sorceress of Greyskull Castle (Christina Pickles). He-Man is summoned to stop Skeletor's plans. But when the wily dwarf Gwildor (Billy Barty)

Oct 23, 2001

Cannon Films

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Masters of the Universe

May 30, 2014:
Kellan Lutz Would Like to Play He-Man
"That would be a childhood dream come true."
April 10, 2014:
Jeff Wadlow Rewriting Masters of the Universe
He will attempt to inject the existing script with a little more power of Grayskull.

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (19) | DVD (4)

Everyone knows how the battles will turn out. It`s what`s between them that raises Masters Of The Universe ever so slightly above the mediocre.

July 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With Masters of the Universe -- the latest numbskull entertainment from the creators of Castle Greyskull -- He-Man makes the transition from animation to live action. Taking a live actor along for the ride might have helped.

July 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A misfiring, underdone epic that takes its inspiration not from life or literature, but from a toy line and the cartoon series it inspired.

July 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If nothing else, we can probably thank Lundgren for ensuring that there will be no more Rambo movies in the near future because he has obviously depleted the world supply of body grease.

July 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result is a colossal bore.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are lots of flashes and bangs, but the effects are neither special nor camp enough to be more than vaguely amusing.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If not for the superb villainy of Frank Langella, who plays the evil Skeletor, Masters of the Universe would be as barren as an asteroid.

July 11, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It is exceedingly difficult to make convincing live-action versions of cult cartoon strips, and this big-screen version of the momentarily popular TV series is one of the least successful attempts.

July 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

It is by no means a masterpiece, but it still possesses some keen schlock value for fans of eighties cinema.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The first film to be based on a line of toys, this might not be the last, but it'd take something awful to replace it as the worst.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

There are some decent special effects, but overall it's about what you'd expect from a movie inspired by a line of toys.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Goddard does a good job of bringing the characters to life....a treat for the fans

May 12, 2005
Moviehole

Halfway through this live action version of the popular early 1980s kiddies TV show, I wondered what I had done wrong to deserve all this pain and suffering.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

stinks

August 1, 2002 | Comments (4)

I'm not saying He-Man deserved all that brilliant of a movie ... but this thing's a freaking disaster.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Masters of the Universe

Always a little sad to see a childhood favorite not standing the test of time. That's not only due to special effects unworthy of their year of origin but also a pretty bumpy script. You gotta give the film credit for not taking itself all that seriously, but it is wasting said credit with stereotype dialogs and cardboard villains. Entertaining enough for kids at that time but after all those years nothing to write home about anymore, not even with plenty of 80s nostalgia bonus.
April 29, 2013
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

Oh my how delicious is this piece of 80's panto, some of the best badly adapted hokey nonsense I've seen yet somehow its so damn good :)

Where to start! this really is your typical fantasy film of the era, every cliche every funny little niche is here as you would expect and the funny thing is it was actually meant to be a blockbuster. I have since found out there were many problems in creating this film and it does show some what, the film is really nothing like the original He-Man cartoon in any way.

Effects wise this sorta stumbles through with some interesting ideas, some of the makeup is actually quite good, 'Skeletor', 'Beast Man' and 'Saurod' all have pretty nice makeup appliances and costumes which fit the He-Man universe. Other effects are laughably terrible with some awful bluescreen work, nasty models of which most seem ripped straight outta 'Star Wars', faded poor laser blast effects and some of the most hilariously bad stunts and fight choreography you will see. Most kicks and punches clearly (and I mean CLEARLY) don't make their intended contacts lol!

The cast are actually a mix of decent character actors which is the funny thing, some of these performances saved the film and gave it cult status. Of course Langella as 'Skeletor' is the co de gra of cheesy villains with his snarling voice and bellowing cries lusting for power. For me the best and most amusing performance was James Tolkan as the no nonsense cop 'Lubic' with his sharp tongue, gotta love that guy and his baldness.
Along for the ride is steady character actor Jon Cypher, fantasy actor regular Billy Barty, Meg Foster as the quite sexual 'Evil-Lyn' in her lovely tight barbarian-esq outfit with luscious lips (oh yeah!) and last of all Courtney Cox, yes THAT Courtney Cox of 'Friends' fame and as you would expect she's still annoying as hell even back then.

So yes the film is practically a joke with its 'Punch n Judy' style and completely awful effects, fights etc...but it has gained allot of notoriety for just that. Even when I saw this back as a kid I knew the film bared no resemblance to the original material, it always bewildered me why the creators thought to create new bad guys when there were so many rich villains to use, who the hell was 'Blade', 'Karg' and 'Saurod' suppose to be!? where was 'Trap Jaw' 'Tri-Klops' 'Mer-Man' or 'Man-E-Faces'? the same could be said for the heroes also. Then there was the question of who on earth were all these stormtrooper type foot soldiers clad in black armour that were an idea rip from so many films!?.

I have since found out they were stuck in so 'He-Man' could kill things without becoming too violent for the kids as He-Man wasn't suppose to kill. I can see that now but it still doesn't work right does it, I can't believe Lucas never sued frankly haha even with the almost identical ending to 'ROTJ'.

Its funny to look back and laugh, even more so to think films like this actually made it to the cinema and were meant to be big money spinners hehe. I actually love how the film just goes off on its own tangent completely ignoring the source material, its so far gone its brilliant in such a bad way. Gotta love 'Skeletor's' golden coloured horned silver foil battle mask getup when he transforms at the end which seems to be a rip off from 'Big Trouble in Little China'!, the way Tolkan swears oh and the fact 'Teela' seems to be wearing a thin thong if you look closely as well :) kids film?.
May 2, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

This film is absolutely hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud, by myself in the basement. There aren't words for this kind of exuberant ridiculous trash. It's got lines like: "You dare threaten her life?" "I DARE ANYTHING! I am Skeletor!" and a villain named Evillyn. Anyone who expects someone named Evillyn to do anything BUT mess with your day deserves exactly what's coming to them. Imagine, if you will, a film where Courtney Cox, running from extra-terrestrial, bounty-hunting monsters runs straight into the chest of... Fabio. Dolph Lundgren plays He-Man (or rather, as I came to learn, "Heehee!-Man") and spends the movie dressed like he's posing for the cover of a Viking-themed romance novel. I know this because I have read such novels, and they are as much fun as they sound. Oh my god, why am I not watching this movie RIGHT NOW?? Here is the secret formula for making giggly joy: Beefcake in underwear + Cape + Mullet = Hilarity!
February 13, 2011
MidnightMadwoman

Super Reviewer

This movie has a good, and interesting, cast. The story is better than I expected from a cartoon I didn't really care for, and it's got a nice combination of sci-fi, fantasy, and 80s cheese. I really enjoyed this movie, and I highly recommend it.
February 4, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

    1. Sorceress of Castle Greyskull: Men who crave power look back over the mistakes of their lives, pile them all together, and call it 'destiny.'
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Sorceress of Castle Greyskull: The dark can embrace the light, but never eclipse it.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Skeletor: Yes! Let this be our final battle!
    – Submitted by Emil (2 years ago)
    1. Skeletor: Everything comes to he who waits. And I have waited so very long for this moment.
    – Submitted by Emil (2 years ago)
    1. Skeletor: I must possess all, or I possess nothing.
    – Submitted by Emil (2 years ago)
    1. Narrator: At the center of the universe, at the boarder between the light and the dark stands Castle Greyskull. For countless eons the sorceress of Greyskull has kept this universe in harmony, but the armies of darkness shall not rest and the capture of greyskull is ever most in their minds. For to those who controls Greyskull comes the power, the power to be supreme, the power to be all mighty, the power to be.... masters of the universe.
    – Submitted by Byron L (3 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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