Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Logan’s Run-review with spoilers

            When I was wishing my cousin Bonni a Happy Birthday today she asked me “What movie would I review for her birthday?”  It’s a question I never have been asked since I started this blog.  So I had to think about it what might work for that very reason.  Then I figured that “Logan’s Run” is wildly appropriate to anyone aging. 

The movie starts with this bit of text:
“Sometime in the 23rd century...the survivors of war, overpopulation and pollution are living in a great domed city, sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world, mankind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything. There's just one catch: Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of carrousel.”

In the future women wear very little it turns out.
            Ok so what can I tell you the domed city from the outside looks like the trolley system Mr. Roger’s would use to pull in and out of his land of make believe.  The inside is a 1970s shopping mall.  Which is appropriate because this is a 1976 movie; and this is apparently their vision of the future. A future where the women wear very little and the clothes and sets look like they came right off the original “Star Trek” set. 

            It’s in this futuristic dystopia we meet Logan 5, played by Michael York, or for you Austin Powers fans out there Basil Exposition.  Turns out everyone at birth in this society gets a crystal implanted in palm of their hand that changes color as a person ages.  It’s called their Lifeclock. When they reach 30 it is considered the person’s “Last Day” and the clock blinks red and turns black at which time they are supposed to report to Carrousel which is supposed to give them hope of Renewal, which I guess works like reincarnation for them.
I think it's the smiley face that makes it really funny.
            Logan has the sweet gig of a Sandman.  This means he hunts down and kills Runners, which are people who don’t report to Carrousel. He and his buddy Francis 7 make a game out of it toying with a Runner before killing him and taking his personal effects which include a silver ankh.  I guess it beats watching the Carrousel ceremony.  Apparently all that happens is the older folks that have their Lifeclocks expire wear insane hockey masks while they are lifted into the air like a high wire act.  Then bolts of lightening hit them and they are killed as the crowd shouts “Renew!”  I don’t get it at all. 
            Apparently instead of using the internet for porn after the big war our ancestors will have a thing called “The Circuit”.   It allows you to meet anonymous people for sex which is how Logan meets Jessica 6 played by a cute Jenny Agutter.  She leaves without having sex with him which just chaps his ass but he does notice she has an ankh pendant.
Question: Why are people in Future D.C. British?
            At his headquarters Logan turns over the personal effects from the Runner he killed and the computer scans the ankh.  It tells Logan that it’s the symbol for a group of Runners attempting to reach the “Sanctuary”.  It gives a secret assignment to Logan to find and destroy the Sanctuary.  To make sure he can pass as a Runner the Computer speeds up Logan’s Lifeclock 4 years so that it now blinks.  The computer has put him in a position where he is alone working on this mission and as complete screwed him now. He doesn’t even know if he’ll get the time back that was taken from him since every time he asks a question to the computer it gives no response. Fucking Windows ’98.
            So now Logan recalls that Jessica had an ankh and seeks her help.  She is skeptical seeing as how he is a Sandman and all but eventually she witnesses him help another Runner and starts to trust him.  However Francis spies this act of mercy and goes on the hunt for Logan and Jessica.  So Logan goes to a futuristic plastic surgeon to try to get a new face.  The secretary is Farrah Fawcett playing a girl named Holly.  I wonder if her character is upset that every girl in the city has stolen her hair style.
            The machine that gives surgeries operates like a torture device in a Bond film.  It’s a spindly crab of laser arms that works on your face and body.  The Doctor tries to kill Logan and Logan fights the Doctor and kills him with his own odd device.  Francis is hot on their trail.  Logan and Jessica escape by going into an orgy room where Francis is slowed a tad. Then they are stopped at one of the Runners hideouts and are stopped by what can only be described as spears with glowing vibrators on the end that shoot steam.
At this point Logan still wants to destroy the Sanctuary so he gives off a distress beacon.  The Sandman cavalry arrive and kill just about everyone.  Logan and Jessica escape into what looks like a huge ass basement. Then using an ankh to unlock the door a door they find themselves in an old fish farm under the city. They find an elevator and then comes something I thought was so bizarre it was surreal.
I make C3PO look butch!
They end up in an ice chamber with frozen animals all over and people in little alcoves.  Logan and Jessica encounter a really sad looking robot named Box who looks like the head of C3PO with a dome body who tells them it’s his job to preserve food.  So he freezes anything that comes down this hall including Runners.  Logan hates stupid robots that don’t’ follow Asimov’s 3 rules of robotics so he shoots Box and they escape.
            Once free they discover the crystals Lifeclocks have become clear so they are free of the Sandmen.  They discover the ruins of the National Mall in Washington D.C.  It’s actually kind of cool to hear folks looking at these monuments that have returned to nature in many ways and marvel at them wondering what it all means.  They come across an old man living with several cats.  They are both very impressed and marvel at his grey hair and wrinkles.
            The old man is just happy to have someone to talk to since he has just been talking to the cats.  Francis appears and puts up a fight.  Logan tries to convince him to fuck off but he won’t give up.  So Logan beats him to death.  Francis’ final words were congratulations to his friend, "Logan... You Renewed!"
He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.
Logan, Jessica and the old man go back to the city to tell the inhabitants what they've learned.  The old man won’t shut up the whole trip back so I wonder how long it will take for that novelty to wear off for them.  The old man waits as Logan and Jessica reenter the city. 
Logan and Jessica are arrested after yelling at a crowd of Carrousel attendees and are brought before the central computer for interrogation. Logan resists, but the computer system accesses his mind. When the computer asks if Logan found Sanctuary, his mind replies, "there is no Sanctuary." The computer complains that this "does not program". This causes the computer to break down, setting off explosions and blasting the city seals open. The people leave the city, and the young citizens meet the first old man that they have ever seen.
            That is it.  I suspect the hedonistic culture didn’t last long in the real world and they died of exposure shortly after word.  All in all it’s not a bad movie. I liked it for what it was. And I enjoyed its views of a post apocalyptic ageist society.  But that robot and tossing in Farrah Fawcett for the fuck of it just seems like it’s there for no other reason then to be there. 

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