doesn't always realize how much Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) has changed movie-making
unless one happens to see films like Logan's Run. Made in 1976, [...]
Logan's Run represented the state-of-the-art special effects of its
time. (It actually received an Oscar for it.) However, today the special effects
look cheap and the 1970s fashions achingly embarrassing. Unlike Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977),
Logan's Run aged badly. But that doesn't make it a bad movie. In fact,
it is more sci-fi than most of the efforts that get foisted upon us nowadays.
Nowadays, sci-fi movies are little else than action movies dressed up with a thin
futuristic veil. Logan's Run goes for the "chase movie" option
about halfway through the movie (also incidentally its weakest half, especially
for modern audiences weaned on action extravaganzas like Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
and The Rock (1996)).
In the first half an interesting future is depicted: a domed city in the 23rd
century which is a virtual utopia. Unending pleasure, an utterly controlled environment,
etc. Nobody grows old either - but that is the catch: everybody has to go for
"renewal" (i.e., die) at the age of 30. Obviously not everybody is too
enchanted with this idea and so-called "runners" often try to flee the
city for a place called "Sanctuary." These runners are pursued by futuristic
policemen called "Sandmen". When a sandman named Logan Five (played
by Michael York) decides to run, he and an accomplice (Jenny Agutter
in a very skimpy outfit) discovers the truth about what is "outside"
and about Sanctuary.
on a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson,
Logan's Run later on inspired a short television series of the same
name. (Which for budgetary reasons I suppose choose to focus on events during
their time on the outside rather than on events directly after the movie - that
is if my memory serves me correctly.)
Despite some dreary bits, Logan's Run isn't bad sci-fi and is an
interesting exercise in what the future was thought to be like back in the 1970s:
all high-tech and sanitized with clean and efficient energy, not the grungy dystopian
futures depicted in films of the 1980s like Blade Runner (1982) and its ilk.
Back then people still believed in a glitzier and better future.
Review by James O'Ehley from The
Sci-Fi Movie Page.