In the distant future, after a devastating war, people inhabit a domed
city where they each live for thirty years. When they reach thirty,
they are "renewed" on the Carousel, and anyone who tries to escape this
fate is hunted down by the Sandmen and "terminated". One Sandman, Logan
(Michael York), decides to try and make it to the world outside – whatever’s left of it.
Logan’s Run was adapted from William F.
Nolan’s novel by David Zelag Goodman. Very much of its time, it depicts
a far off world not unlike a seventies shopping mall, where Logan has
his consciousness raised by wide-eyed Jenny Agutter. They both go on the run, pursued by Logan’s ex-best friend (Richard Jordan).
The civilians in this world dress in togas, presumably to evoke
parallels with the decadence of Ancient Rome. They all live for casual
sex, jacuzzis and plastic surgery, watched over by a sinister
supercomputer and executed for their own good in a particularly tacky
display which they attend as if it were an event at some future
Naturally, this hedonistic world is no place for a sensitive person to
live. The film says that we should accept ageing instead of preventing
it, grow old gracefully like, er, Peter Ustinov
has. Be at peace with yourself, don’t be so shallow. Yes, it’s all that
1970’s self-improvement in action, and the story conveniently fades out
at the end before any of it is put into practice.
The film looks glossy but remains fairly unimpressive – just look at the killer robot (Roscoe Lee Browne)
for cheap hilarity. In the end, it’s comes across as being as
empty-headed as the cityfolk. The finale, where a computer malfunction
leads to mass destruction, seems like a slight overreaction, to say the
But if it’s a slice of 1970’s cheese you’re looking for, look no
further than this more than faintly silly production. Music, a mixture
of electronic beeps and a sweeping orchestra, is by Jerry Goldsmith. A
point to ponder: are Michael and Jenny attempting to put on American
accents? They can’t seem to decide.
Logan’s Run is playing in the lobby at the Mortar through Friday. See the trailer.
Thanks to Graeme Clark at the Spinning Image for the review.
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