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The plot may be riddled with holes bigger than Lundgren's biceps, the production value may be as cheap and childish as the toy line, the whole affair may just turn be a decade-late knockoff of and cash-in on Lucasian science fantasy—but even hidden behind that mask, Frank Langella has the power to make this schlock worth watching.
Cannonical scale: 4.5/5
At least the movie was better than a few others in that era.
It started off like a Star Wars/Superman knockoff, complete with the Storm troopers in Castle Greyskull and all, even down to the theme song. I knew then, to not expect much. Still trying to figure out if the cartoon series or the movie was better. Even I could make better Halloween-esque masks. They probably should've used more of that movie budget to do a better job at improving the characters' on film appearance.
My toddler got a good laugh though.
You'd think an '80s adaptation would have a bit more effort put into it than the stuff from the 21st century. True, the actors do look like their counterparts from the toys and cartoon with Frank Langella's performance as Skeletor being actually quite good plus faithfully recreated costume design yet the movie sacrifices the lore in favour of your generic Earth-based adaptation about Courteney Cox dealing with her own problems...what does that have to do with He-Man again? It doesn't help that the rest of the performances really aren't that good, including Dolph Lundgren despite looking the part. And hoo mama, the movie's cheesy. While I don't think this toy-based movie is as bad as Transformers 5, all it would take is some terrible editing for it to come close.
This movie is very very campy. Some may remember it fondly, but apart from nostalgia there's really nothing good about it. The costuming is chintzy and for the most part doesn't even look like the costumes in the 1983 TV show. The special effects are not only dated but aren't even remotely as good as Krull from four years earlier. The plot is as thin as ‘they come to our world and have to get back', and the characters are interchangeably bland. The most impressive costuming and effects are on Gwildor, the comic relief character, because his mouth moves in synch with his speech. If you're going to watch an old, campy movie, just watch Krull instead.
Closest comparison: It's like Super Mario Bros. (1993) with the special effects of the original Power Rangers TV show.
Setting: Fantasy meets Modern
Tone: Campy action
With no note worthy special effects, terrible acting (Dolph Lundgren I am looking at you), and a story that could been barfed up by a three year old sitting in a sandbox, this Master Of the Universe movie has only mastered the ability to take money from people while hurting their head.
I understand this is by modern standards a cheesy remake of a nostalgic cartoon, based on toy line, but it's a fun romp and worth seeing over and over. If not to admire the rippling pecktorals of Dolph Lundgren at his prime, but the cute yet formulaic teenagers that get caught up in the drama's of Eternia. Classic 80s nostalgia.
I was so disappointed that this wasn't better
Was a fun popcorn flick
Aside from Frank Langella's performance this movie represents what film adaptations from TV Cartoons, Video Games, etc were back in the 80 until today. With a few exceptions most movies have been disastrous and this one is the poster child of a disaster of a live action version of cartoons. I get the fact that in 87 the computer animation was nowhere near as good as the stuff we see in 2019, but this just reeks of bad special effects, poor dialog and terrible costumes. You add the fact that aside from Skeletor , the henchmen were made up and not part of the MOTU universe and it makes a bad movie.
This film deserves a higher score, it's not a masterpiece but it's head and shoulders above the usual schlock churned out by Cannon films.
Whats to like? Dolph Lundgren looks awesome as he-man, granted his performance is a little wooden but when he raises the sword and yells "i have the power" all is forgiven. Frank Langella is clearly in his element as Skeletor, chewing the scenery one minute and executing one of his mercenaries the next. The film could really have done without coming to Earth, the human characters, with the exception of James Tolkans Lubic character, are very annoying, especially Courtney Cox. But the supporting cast do their best to take your mind off the hum drum earth setting. Meg Foster is suitably sinister looking as Evilyn, Billy Barty succeeds in making what should be a really annoying character actually quite likable. Jon Cypher and Chelsea Field both give solid performances as man at arms and teela. Another plus for this movie is the awesome soundtrack by Bill Conti. The effects are pretty good for the time and the models/makeup effects are all very good.
As I said, the film could have done without coming to Earth, setting it on Eternia would have been much more interesting, but the Director Gary Goddard did a pretty good job with what he was given.
If you are an avid fan of the cartoon, you probably won't like this movie as they took a lot of liberties with the source material. But if you like cheesy 80's action movies you'll probably like it. It's the sort of film made with enough competence that you can like it, and enough incompetence that you can love it. And I love it.