Logan's Run (1976) Directed by Michael Anderson
Aah, Jenny Agutter. I said hello to Jenny Agutter once. It was in a dining room of a Liverpool Hotel. She looked the same as always. That might not mean much to you but since my adolescence Jenny (we're on first name terms) has been the object of much pent up desire. Going further back then Liverpool in the mid-90's I always remember being at school and the word went out amongst school friends that we should watch Walkabout (Roeg's film about 2 school kids lost in the Australian bush). My father and me at age 13 watched Jenny frolicking naked in the outback! It must be an English thing, but Jenny was a genuine British sex symbol. From the innocence of the Railway Children to the shower scene in An American Werewolf in London Jenny has usually been more interesting than the films she stars in. Safe to say the director of Logun's Run has Jenny near naked on a couple of occasions. It must have been written in all her contracts : remove clothes.
Logun's Run is Sci-Fi 70's style. It's the 23rd Century and the ideology of society is based on pleasure. Everyone lives in a Dome City till the age of 30, then face renewal (which really means death but no one realizes). Logan is a Sandman, who kills runners (runners being people who reach 3o but refuse renewal so they run). One day Logan goes for a briefing with a computer and finds out that renewal does not happen, people just die and it's all been a big con. He is given a mission to go outside the dome to find Sanctuary (a mythical name for outside) and destroy it. He loses four years of his time left and becomes a runner. Logan is played by Michael York who resembles a public school Nazi. Agutter plays Jessica 6 who is in touch with the underground and helps Logan escape the Dome City to the outside. They are both chased by Logan's fellow Sandman and best friend Francis (played by a good Richard Jordan).
All one can really say about this film is it's terrible. It's a great idea, with a condescending script that has to spell everything out in case we don't understand the most basic language.
The effects are bad, the sets move, Anderson directs with the pace of a snail. Peter Ustinov plays the only old man left and even he hams it up. Of course the future is depicted with the fashion sense of Studio 54. Jerry Goldsmith's score is analogue synth heaven. Yet, despite all these problems, this is enjoyable fun. Someone should re-make this with some edge. But still, we'll always have Jenny.....aah.
Logan's Run is another one of those movies that Nick insists on watching by using the punch line: -You'll like this one! Usually it is a lame attempt to convince me to watch something that I most certainly won't care for, but Nick has a history with. Yeah, in this case it was Jenny Agutter, who does absolutely nothing for me.
Although Logan's Run is a pathetic movie as far as acting, script and dramatic tension goes, it looks great. the 1970's vision of the future is groovy and colorful. Also, the novel behind the movie script is probably full of fascinating propositions. The idea of a future community without any manual labor left to do, just hedonism and death at 30 (to cut down over-population) sounds inspiring to begin with. The question of bringing up children without any biological parent contact is another interesting thought, but for this film it is simply something awful to frown upon. Killing other people, such as Runners who attempt to continue life after 30, has been made to look like renewal and/or is done by robots. This removal of human empathy in a society must be a central theme in the novel. In the film such crucial visions of the future play only a small part as the thematic backdrop for Jessica's and Logan's boring escape into the real planet earth outside the dome.