Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Logan's Run

Logan's Run; Science-Fiction, USA, 1976; D: Michael Anderson, S: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov

The year is 2274. Because of overpopulation and pollution, mankind is living in a domed city, never leaving for outside. But the law states that every person must die at the age of 30 or seek to be reborn at the mysterious Carousel, which is actually just a elimination machine. Logan 5 is one of the "Sandmen", police officers who kill everyone trying to escape or live after 30. One day Logan gets a special assignment to find and destroy the sanctuary of the "Runners" - in order to do that, the computer makes his life clock on his hand blink, although he still has 4 more years to live. For the first time, Logan questions the system and becomes a "Runner" himself. Together with Jessica, he enters a frozen cave and manages to escape outside. The two of them wonder around a devastated Washington and find a old man. They return to the city, destroy the computer and announce everyone that they can live after 30.

Cult Sci-Fi thriller "Logan's Run" is a good film with a brilliantly chilling premise - because of overpopulation and pollution in the future, every person must die at the age of 30. It somehow seems as if the whole story works on two levels: firstly, it's a very cynical commentary at the generation conflict, where children and youngsters really don't have any kind of respect towards elderly. One can even say it shows how the world would look like if silly kids would rule. Secondly, the concept is a clever, deeply subversive critique of people who always follow the rules, traditions and laws no matter how dumb they are. The tradition that everyone has to die at the age of 30 doesn't have any sense, mirroring the shallowness of conformism and the tendency of people to follow them just because everyone else does, and sometimes even we are doing that and are not aware of it.

Considering the kitschy set design and special effects, the film is slightly dated, probably because of a limited budget, while some motivations and actions of the characters are not entirely clear. For instance, it is said life can be "renewed" at the Carousel - but how? By which method? It is clearly seen all those people levitating there have been burned in flames. There's a great scene where Logan and Jessica exit the city and see the Sun for the first time in their lives, naively asking: "What is that?" Then they go traveling through a destroyed, empty Washington with monuments covered by jungle and swamps. But if the world outside is not polluted but all right, why would people be hiding in domed cities? Maybe because of the backward government that refuses to accept the truth and simply goes on pretending everything is the way they assume. There are even satirical situations present, like the one where Logan "teleports" Jessica into his home and asks her to go to his bed to have intercourse. "Logan's Run" contains a few fascinating philosophical questions, and it's a pity it didn't go deeper into the subject since it turned into an average action/chase film in the second half, up until the naive ending.


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