Directed by: Michael Anderson
Premise: In the 23rd century, humans live in an idyllic civilization where physical pleasure is readily available but everyone is sacrificed at the age of thirty in a ceremony through which it is believed that they will be reborn. When Logan (Michael York) faces his thirtieth birthday, he flees civilization in search of the truth.
What Works: Logan’s Run is part of a crop of 1970s pre-Star Wars science fiction films that dealt with dystopian futures. Logan’s Run is among the best in that it follows through with the metaphors and has an ending that brings the story to a satisfactory conclusion, which many of these films did not. As a film of its time, Logan’s Run has some interesting characters and some strong visuals, especially the Carousel ceremony and the psychedelically influenced finale. The film is well paced and manages to engage some interesting intellectual ideas and work them into the narrative. Like the literature of Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell, Logan’s Run questions what it means to be human, demonstrates how technology changes the way we think about ourselves, and exposes how tyranny can have a deceitfully pleasurable appearance.
What Doesn’t: Like many other science fiction films from the early 1970s, Logan’s Run has not aged particularly well. A lot of the miniatures are pretty obvious and the sets look like they were used on the original Star Trek television series.
DVD extras: Commentary tracks, featurettes.
Bottom Line: Logan’s Run is an important science fiction film, as its influence can be seen in later films like The Matrix and The Island. Although elements of it have not aged well, fans of science fiction ought to check it out.
Episode: #255 (September 13, 2009)