Reviews: Flash Gordon

Ridiculous, cheap, poorly acted, over-the-top, nonsense. I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT!!!

For starters, it's no secret that this is not a good film by any stretch. The story doesn't make a whole lot of sense in some places, the acting is either stiff and wooden or completely over the top, the special effects are laughable, even by 80s standards, and everything has an air of cheapness to it. But of course, that is the entire point of it. it's not trying to be a great movie, it's basically trying to be what the original Flash Gordon serials were, but with a slightly higher budget and in colour: Goofy, old-fashioned space-opera sci-fi fun. And hoo boy, is it fun. The action scenes are all delightfully ridiculous, Brian Blessed leaves no scenery unchewed (And anything left over is scarfed down by Timothy Dalton, Max Von Sydow and Topol), the costumes are gorgeous (and spangly. Good lord, is there any costume that doesn't involve something shiny?!!), some of the sets are pretty cool, and of course, the soundtrack is pure 80s awesomeness.

So, is it a good movie? Oh hell no, it's one of the silliest sci-fi films ever made! But is it enjoyable? Oh absolutely, yes! This is definitely one for gathering a bunch of guys together, getting some beers and snacks, and all lounging about and enjoying a silly cult classic together.

Hope you like cheddar

Flash Gordon is, without a doubt, one of the silliest movies I've ever seen. Imagine a universe where EVERYONE dresses up like a Super Sentai character, but without the helmets. And then add even more ham. And IT. IS. GLORIOUS!

So of course, our hero is good old red blooded American Flash Gordon (nope, that's not a nickname), a famous football player who happens across Dale Arden as the two of them board an airplane, which is attacked by the villain, Ming, with Hot Hail, sending them crashing into the laboratory of a mad scientist, Dr. Zarkov, who traps them in a space shuttle so they can escape because Ming sent the moon on a crash course with the Earth. They go through a Negative Space Wedgie and end up in Ming's court, where they meet several ridiculously dressed Human Aliens and things just get sillier from there.

Sure, this movie is ridiculously childish, but it knows exactly what it is, and EVERY actor (except possibly the dame playing Dale) throws gratuitous amounts of Ham And Cheese into their performance. It doesn't take itself seriously at all, and it shouldn't given that the climax of the movie has an army of Hawkmen led by BRIAN BLESSED and Flash on a space scooter attacking a Raygun Gothic war rocket so they can hijack it and crash it into Ming's palace to stop the Crosses The Line Twice wedding between him and Dale and the moon from crashing into the earth all to the main theme, courtesy of Queen. Refuge In Audacity indeed.

Best movie ever made? Certainly not. But if you want something to watch on a Saturday night with a bunch of your guy friends, this is probably perfect in all its 80s glory.
  • Sen
  • 4th Nov 11
  • 2

Weak weak weak weak times a million.

I knew the Queen soundtrack for a long time and loved it. So I thought I should try the movie, since the album made it sound like a fun awesomesauce romp.

To my unpleasant surprise, it's weak as hell.

Flash Gordon is a movie with so many problems they overshadow the qualities. Such as:

1. The main problem: it seems like it was made on a budget of $20. Special Effect Failure from beginning to start (especially the conspicuous greenscreening), and everything just looks cheap.

2. The plot just moves too fast and looks rushed, making it hard to get involved or follow it. And then ironically it grinds to a halt in some places (the dragged-out subplot about the Hawkmen and other dudes). This inconsistency makes it feel too long and give me Ending Fatigue - too much Padding.

3. Anemic action scenes. The "Football Fight" I expected to be hilariously over-the-top. It was boring, and maybe I chuckled once or twice. The rest are worse.

4. Acting worse than Star Wars. The dude playing Gordon is a blank, annoying Dull Surprise machine. Dale seems bored. And the Italian-accented Aura just grated on me to no end, especially with the Double Entendre lines she gets (I believe my reaction to her was something like, "what's an Italian pornstar doing in a comic book movie?")

5. Director guy totally fucked up the Hawkmen's attack. Again - soundtrack made me expect awesome. He delivered a Missed Moment Of Awesome.

6. I honestly screamed a few times at the screen when Dale just came off as incredibly stupid. Yeah, go ahead, refuse to poison Ming because he promised to do something even though he won't actually respect the promise. Sure. Whatever, you have the Idiot Ball.

7. Tone-deaf unfunny comedy.

And there's some more that I don't remember right now.

But what are the good things then?

1. Soundtrack's epic.

2. Max von Sydow's kinda funny.

3. Brian Blessed. Not as hammy as TV Tropes led me to believe, but still fun.

4. I chuckled at the ending, I guess...

5. Some lines captured the right over-the-top hilarity that the movie's just trying too hard to achieve. Such as Ming's wedding vows. Or Flash and Dale's telepathy session.

Overall, frustrating failure. Stick with the soundtrack - any movie you imagine while listening to it will be much better than this (worked for me...).