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MOVIE REVIEW FOR ...
Logan's Run

Starring: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Peter Ustinov, Richard Jordan;   Released: 1976

This Logan's Run review written by Mark Jeantheau, Grinning Planet.

DVD cover for Logan's Run In Logan's Run, the scene is set in the 23rd century, amidst an environmental catastrophe brought on by war, overpopulation, and pollution. The remaining human population is sequestered in a high-tech domed city, literally sealed off from the long-forgotten world outside. Technology has reached a point where citizens live in an apparent utopia, with physical labor minimized and pleasures of the body and mind in abundance. But there's a catch.

Because the amount of life the bio-dome can support is limited, the number of humans that can inhabit it was carefully calculated by its designers. To maintain the balance, births are totally controlled and citizens must end their idyllic lives at the age of 30. Once you've hit the big 3-0, you must report to The Carousel—a death machine/entertainment arena where the deathees have a slim chance to get their clocks reset.

Not everyone is copasetic with this arrangement, especially those who are 29.Refusniks do have one other choice, and that is to run. But run to where? Ah, there is the crux of the plot.

Logan, a "sandman"—that is, a guy who chases down runners and puts them into The Big Sleep with his trusty ray gun—is given a special assignment to ferret out the location of a colony of successful runners. Under the pretense of needing to go on the run himself, Logan enlists Jessica, a bleeding-heart malcontent whom he had earlier encountered on the "dating circuit." Logan and Jessica being their journey through the industrial underbelly of the domed world and, finally, to the outside world.

There are indeed some interesting ideas in this film along the lines of environment, energy, and progressivism:

  • that war, overpopulation, and pollution can all get so out of control that the planet becomes unlivable;
  • that even under the worst of circumstances, technology save us (or at least some of us)—an idea that is currently hotly contested in environment and energy circles;
  • that relinquishing one's personal freedoms for the sake of general survival, safety, and security can be a happy thing.

In the plot of Logan's Run, the first two concepts are a given—they're really only addressed in the marquis introduction. The third angle—Brave New World meets Big Brother—is where the movie spends its plot capital. Overall, it works quite well, with fast-paced action, intriguing adventure, and cool sci-fi sets, playing sort of like a top-grade episode of the original Star Trek series juxtaposed against Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451. Still, Logan's Run manages to explore its world in some unique ways, and it's well worth a couple of hours off your stopwatch.

Check out Logan's Run at Amazon.com

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Liner notes for Logan's Run:
Taglines: (1) "Welcome to the 23rd Century: a perfect world of total pleasure, with just one catch... (2) The only thing you can't have in Logan's world is your 30th birthday. Unless you run away.   Categories: Sci-Fi, Environmental Catastrophe, Pollution.   Runtime: 120 min

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