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Movie review: Flash Gordon (1980)

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*** Flash Gordon (December 1980) – Rental

Flash Gordon posterSam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow. When Ming the Merciless sets his evil sights on planet Earth, football star Flash Gordon and stewardess Dale Arden are kidnapped into the fight to save it by scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov.

She says: My interest in this movie was musical: I’ve had the soundtrack—music entirely by Queen—for some time, and was curious to see the movie that went along with it. All I really knew about the film was that it hadn’t done very well at the box office, hadn’t been that well-reviewed, and looked kind of cheesy.

And indeed, in the usual measure of these things, it’s not a very good movie. The lead actors are not strong (though many of supporting actors, such as Timothy Dalton, are good). The plot is fairly ridiculous. (On the extras, the screenwriter admits it might help if someone—anyone—had given him any feedback on it.) The science is impossible. The main characters have no depth or nuance.

But damn, it’s an entertaining movie! The silly plot moves along at a brisk pace, with many quite hilarious sequences, such as Flash using a football-shaped ornament to fight off Ming’s soldiers. The lead actors are all quite nice-looking, and frequently (un)dressed to show that off. The absurd planets and landscapes are gorgeous; the whole thing is a feast for the eyes.

And the soundtrack is truly awesome!

He says: That movie is bad in a really good way.

The trailer:

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