DIRECTOR: Mike Hodges
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? YES
It might be camp as Christmas and well placed to compete with Star Wars in the early 1980’s, but there’s something as right about Flash Gordon as is there is very wrong! Queen’s soundtrack dominates the movie as Sam Jones’s, Flash Gordon, brought back into the popular consciousness by his cameo in Ted (2012) last year, finds himself doing battle with the evil Emperor Ming The Merciless (Max von Sydow) as he intends to destroy the Earth.
The action is corny, the characters more so but it’s not exactly trying to be anything else. It’s fun, unabashed and self-aware and this makes this an earnest film, not exactly a comedy nor a spoof, but an interpretation of the 30’s sci-fi Saturday morning action hero. What else could you do? Take him seriously?
Star Wars (1977) managed to pull a rabbit of its hat, but not by simply taking Flash Gordon and running with it. It blended WW2 serials and Akira Kurosawa to create a hybrid and a totally new type of blockbuster, but here, Hodges has made the conscious decision, I presume so anyway, to take Flash Gordon’s camp and corniness and all, as he comes, but not simply translating it, interpreting it for the 1980’s.
It’s silly and it knows it. Queen’s soundtrack is awesome and one of the best rock or pop movie scores ever, with Daft Punk’s score for Tron Legacy, a decent competitor and the visuals, though be it hammy, are grand and entertaining.