Monday, June 24, 2002

The Movie I Watched Last Night XXIII
Logan's Run
I think a lot of the angst and existential malaise I've been feeling for the last six-plus months stems from the fact that I turn 30 next year. Call it a mid-midlife crisis if you will. But, sheesh, my problems are nothing compared to the problems faced by the folks in Logan's Run. You see, in the movie's future authoritarian utopia following an apocalypse caused by overpopulation and pollution, when you turn 30, you die. Well, you're killed. In one of two ways. Either, you seek "renewal" in a bizarre aerial acrobatic ceremony, or you try to run for Sanctuary, a legendary haven for people who don't want to die at age 30. Thing is, Sanctuary isn't all it's cracked up to be, and Logan -- originally assigned to seek it out to destroy it -- returns to share the message... and the opportunities offered by the outside world (which has surprisingly well recovered by the supposed pollution and overpopulation). Some of the best parts of the movie take place outside the walled city, where Logan and his love interest discover a post-apocalyptic Washington, DC, complete with vegetation overgrown National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, and cat-infested library -- where they encounter Peter Ustinov's wonderful character Ballard, or Old Man. While I didn't totally dig the for-the-time progressive special effects and holography, I thought that Roscoe Lee's robot character Box was extremely poorly done. Regardless, take a little Soylent Green, stir in some Planet of the Apes, add a dash of The Running Man, subtract Charlton Heston, and you've basically got Logan's Run. Brilliant.

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