Logan’s Run (1976)

LOGAN’S RUN (1976)
Article 3230 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-22-2010
Posting Date: 6-18-2010
Directed by Michael Anderson
Featuring Michael York, Richard Jordan, Jenny Agutter
Country: USA
What it is: Dystopian science fiction

In the future, humanity lives in domed cities isolated from the rest of the world. People are only allowed to live to the age of 30, when they are “reborn” through a process known as “carousel”. Those who try to evade “carousel” are known as “runners”, and a group of men known as sandmen have the job of chasing down runners and terminating them. One sandman is chosen for a special mission; some runners have escaped to a place known as Sanctuary, and he must find the place. But what will he really find…?

It’s certainly one of the more ambitious science fiction movies of the seventies, and at its best, it does tap into a real sense of wonder; the opening “carousel” sequences are particularly interesting. Overall, however, I didn’t find the movie particularly satisfying. One problem is that the movie as a whole never builds a sense of tension and urgency; we seem to saunter from one scene to the next, and this leaves the movie feeling a bit aimless. The ending of the movie also feels contrived and convenient, which certainly adds to my lack of satisfaction. There is a nice sense of fun at moments, though; I like the scenes in the overgrown Washington D.C. settings, and Peter Ustinov seems to be having a lot of fun as an old man, so much so I found myself wondering if much of his dialogue was ad-libbed. Overall, it seems more of a triumph of production design over script, and I would like to read the original novel some time to see just what has been changed.

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