Logan’s Run (1976)

Logan (Michael York) is a Sandman. You can tell he’s a Sandman because of the outfit he wears. It’s black with a big silver stripe running across the middle of the chest. In this nightmarish future, it surely instills abject fear into all rebellion-prone citizens, but in our sensible present, it just looks like a pit crew member’s outfit at the Daytona 500!

In Logan’s world, everything is provided for the residents of the domed city they inhabit and all they have to do is die when they hit thirty. Even though this world is premised on the fact that it is acceptable to die when you hit thirty, many people object to the idea when their time comes.

In fact, some of them decide to “run” instead of go to Carousel to get “renewed.” This is frowned upon and that’s where Logan comes in. As a Sandman, he is charged with tracking these “runners” down and killing them.

Since this is a future where anyone can have any pleasure fulfilled that also means there is also no emotional attachment to anyone. Of course the movie never explains just how it is that human nature could change so much in only 200 years. What is it about living in a post-apocalyptic domed city that suddenly turns everyone into futuretards who have to rediscover this crazy thing we call love?

Logan is ordered to go deep undercover as a Sandman who decides to run. His mission is to find this place called Sanctuary where all the runners who have escaped are living the good life. Just why Logan was picked, why he had to do it alone or why none of the other Sandmen could know or how the computer even knew about Sanctuary or why anybody should care that these runners escaped the city is left to the befuddled viewer to puzzle out.

Logan has no objection to the assignment – until he notices that the computer advanced his lifeclock on his hand so that now he’s blinking red, meaning he’s up for renewal! And you thought you had a crappy day at work!

He hooks up with a pro-Sanctuary rebel named Jessica 6. They follows some clues to a plastic surgeon’s office. There’s some kind of mishap involving the doctor trying to kill Logan and his “run” is on!

The rest of the movie is a long, drawn out chase sequence and even though this domed city is jam packed with Sandmen, the only guy who cares about chasing Logan down is his buddy and fellow Sandman, Francis. And he does so with creepy obsessiveness!

Francis chases him through the city, he chases him through the sewers, he chases him through an ice cave, he chases him in the wilderness and even chases him all the way to the Capitol in Washington D.C.!

Logan and Jessica 6 fall in love during all this chasing. Apparently being chased makes you very horny because they go skinny dipping even while the dogged Francis maintains his completely pointless pursuit.

And when Logan and Jessica 6 fell in love, we were supposed to see that as a big breakthrough since no one in this world had real emotional bonds with anyone. Skinny dipping has a way of doing that to you.

The natural ending spot for the film seemed to be when Logan and Francis settle things in the Capitol. By this time Logan and Jessica 6 have befriended an old guy (Peter Ustinov) and unraveled the secret of Sanctuary. So what’s left but to roll the credits? Fifteen more minutes of movie is what’s left!

Logan, Jessica 6, and the old man return to the domed city for a completely contrived happy ending wherein Logan is interrogated by the computer and somehow blows up a bunch of the city since the computer can’t handle Logan’s thoughts!

Once the city starts blowing up, all the people go outside, meet the old dude and it’s high fives all around as everyone instantly discards their old belief system.

If I was there, I’d take one look at Peter Ustinov and think, “if that’s what getting old is, you can count me out.”

Then I’d turn to Logan and say, “hey, Logan, thanks for blowing up paradise. I don’t have a place to live anymore and I’m going to have to work for a living now, but on the upside I’ll get to grow all old and wrinkled now, you big dumb jerk!”

The premise is rickety at best since it’s doubtful any sort of advanced society could survive without people over the age of thirty. And even if you can buy that, then you have to be satisfied watching Logan get chased by Francis for over an hour. Unfortunately, a movie structured as a chase flick needs to keep the chase moving at a brisk pace or else the chase loses its sense of urgency. Add in the lame, tacked on ending and it isn’t so much Logan’s Run, but Logan’s Half-Assed Jog.

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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