Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. United Kingdom/USA, 1985. Legend Production Company, Embassy International Pictures. Screenplay by William Hjortsberg. Cinematography by Alex Thomson. Produced by Arnon Milchan. Music by Jerry Goldsmith, Tangerine Dream. Production Design by Assheton Gorton. Costume Design by Charles Knode. Film Editing by Terry Rawlings. Academy Awards 1986.
Tom Cruise looks perpetually embarrassed to be appearing in this terrible fantasy, the last film he released before Top Gun made him a superstar. He plays an elven forest boy who must make a journey towards the lair of the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry made up to look like Fantasia‘s Walpurgis Night demon) and destroy him before he enacts his plans to take over the world. The Lord of Darkness intends to kill the last unicorn and rid the world of daylight, plunging the land into eternal night and letting evil take over. Cruise must also save the beautiful Princess Lily (Mia Sara) from the bad guy’s clutches. Awkwardly edited, the film features the usual plush surroundings you’d expect from a Ridley Scott film: beautiful art direction, costume design and lovely cinematography, but the story leaves a lot to be desired and the cheesy musical score by Tangerine Dream sounds terrible. A recent director’s cut of the film also features the original score by Jerry Goldsmith (nixed in favour of the popular eighties band), and it’s probably an improvement (I haven’t seen it), but I wouldn’t expect too much. With some movies, you really can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, even if the director’s cut of The Abyss proves otherwise.