Flash Gordon (1980)

by Tom Ingram

Genre Science Fiction
People Sam J. Jones; Melody Anderson; Topol; Max von Sydow; Timothy Dalton; Brian Blessed; Lorenzo Semple, Jr. w.; Dino de Laurentiis p.; Mike Hodges d.; Freddie Mercury m.; Brian May m.; Roger Taylor m.; John Deacon m.; Howard Blake m.; Gilbert Taylor c.; Ornella Muti; Robbie Coltrane
/10 8

Flash Gordon (Jones), a football star, and Dale Arden (Anderson), a travel agent, are shanghaied into a mission to save Earth by the somewhat mad Dr. Zarkov (Topol). On the planet Mongo, they fight against the evil emperor Ming the Merciless (von Sydow). Brian Blessed and Timothy Dalton are the leaders of two alien races subjugated by Ming. Based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond.

This is a weird movie. You might be expecting straight-ahead cheesy soap opera like Star Wars, but that’s not what you’d get. Flash Gordon is not easy to describe, but you could approximate it by saying that it takes all the weirdnesses of pre-1960 science fiction and stretches them almost to the breaking point. Thus we get distorted and bizarre sexuality, alien guards defeated by Flash in a mock football game, and BRIAN BLESSED, all set to a soundtrack by Queen. The whole thing is so absurd it’s hard to find a place to ground yourself, and your response to the movie largely depends on whether that makes you angry or not.

1h51m; 1980; Colour