(out of 5)
In the year 2022, the world is grossly overpopulated, polluted and down to very few resources. Humans live in the streets (mostly sleeping on stairwells based on what this film shows), their fashion never updated since the seventies and their source of food a synthetic product from a company called Soylent. Real foods like strawberries and beef are only for the very few super-rich, who live in snazzy apartments with giant video game consoles and pretty girls at their beck and call. Just prior to the release of the new Green line of food products from Soylent, a high-ranking tycoon (Joseph Cotten) is viciously murdered and the officer (Charlton Heston) assigned to investigate the crime ends up going down a rabbit hole of discovery. The clues and suspects lead towards terrible secrets, but don’t think he won’t stop and enjoy the murder victim’s gorgeous girlfriend (Leigh Taylor-Young) while he’s at it. An attempt to apply a film noir plot to a science-fiction execution is not wholly successful as none of the characters are interesting and the downbeat atmosphere does not relent for a second. The film’s closing line is so famous that you’re not likely to watch it without knowing the secret it will reveal and, as a result, the dull dramatics make it a bit of a chore to sit through. Logan’s Run might be a bloated mess but its campiness makes it an easier sell; here the sparks never fly thanks to a barely awake cast (with the exception of a wonderful Edward G. Robinson in his final role) and flat production design.
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Cinematography by Richard H. Kline
Music by Fred Myrow
Production Design by Edward C. Carfagno
Costume Design by Pat Barto
Film Editing by Samuel E. Beetley