(Review originally written at 21 July 2010)

No doubt about it that this is a weird movie. But is it any good? I guess that somewhere deep inside the intentions were all good and the movie also presented some good ideas but as a whole the movie just falls flat and comes across as one weird, post-apocalyptic, thought provoking, science-fiction flick, with Sean Connery running around in red diapers. His body is more covered with chest hair than clothes in this movie.

It really is a movie that could had worked out well. It seemed to have some good ideas and the main premise really isn't that bad, about the hunter Sean Connery, who fights and kills in the name of Zardoz (an huge floating stone head), in a post-apocalyptic world, who soon enters another Utopian world, that reformed itself after the whole world had gone to hell. They have different rules of living, which over the years has caused them to also loose their emotions and feelings, among many other things. So the Sean Connery character is not only interested and fascinated by this strange world but also the other way around. He gets studied and they hope to learn from him, not realizing that some small changes completely distort their Utopian society and way of living. Man, I actually make it sound like a great movie now but it just really isn't. Seemed to me that Twentieth Century-Fox thought they had some "Planet of the Apes" type of material on their hands, since both movies definitely show similarities but I would be very interest in to know what the reactions of the studio bosses were once they witnessed the end result.

Let me tell you that this movie is really, really weird. It's a movie that is so weird that it becomes nothing more than an huge mess to watch. You can probably say that the movie had too many ideas and tried to throw all of them in this movie. The movie could had been kept so much simpler and would had been so much more effective and also throughout thought provoking that way. The insertion of many weird looking psychedelic sequences only let the movie seem like one big mess, that just doesn't add up. The story just doesn't provide us with really any good material to think about. It instead all helps to keep this movie a very strange one to watch. It often seems as if the movie didn't even wanted to make any sense. The weirder the better they must have thought.

It's quite strange seeing Sean Connery running his way through this. He had a hard time finding any acting jobs at the time, which was due to his success for playing the James Bond character for years and people were reluctant to cast him for that for any big movie. It's why he had to make movies like this. And it's not that this is a very demanding role for him. He hardly has to speak any lines in it and my only guess is that he had a harder time wearing his costume then to remember his lines. I wonder what he was thinking when he read the script and was walking around at the set at time, wearing his outrageous costume. Did he ever thought that what he was doing in this movie would ever make any sense in the end? I'm surprised he didn't quite the movie after the first day of filming. He must have had no pride or dignity.

The movie is directed by John Boorman, who is also an hugely respected one within certain circles. Some of his films are being regarded as underrated classics but quite frankly I have never cared that much about any of his movies. They always seem to be full of good ideas and the right intentions but the movies often still manage to mess up things with its execution, just like this one. But oh well, I still haven't seen most of his movies so perhaps I should give some of his other work a fair change. But purely judging by this movie it's a big surprise that he still had a career afterward. Perhaps it's his and Connery's luck that this movie isn't that well known, though it definitely has its cult-following. It's just one of those movies that is being so outrageously bad and silly that it also becomes somewhat good and fun to watch. But I'm not too keen on seeing this movie anytime soon again, though it will also be hard to erase it from my memory, if alone already for Sean Connery's classic outfit and ponytail.

The movie is good but weird looking, with its old fashioned looking locations and costumes, set in a futuristic world. The movie is being a real surreal one. For that I still quite liked the movie, I'll admit. It's also real '70's like, so expect lots of bright colors. For a science-fiction movie its not really being a special effects filled one. It's a movie that more often relies on its story, that however gets told real messy and is filled with some awkward strange moments. In one scene the people actually attempt to give- and to study an erection of the Sean Connery character. Oh dear, Moneypenny!

An intriguingly strange failure.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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