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Flash Gordon Review

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When the Earth comes under a series of deadly attacks from outer space, American football star Flash Gordon and travel agent Dale Arden are kidnapped by a scientist and taken to the planet Mungo, origin of the attacks. There, they face the terrifying Emperor Ming...

★★★★

Sometime in the mid-70s, a young George Lucas tried to obtain the rights to Saturday serial superfranchise Flash Gordon with the idea of doing a remake. Thankfully he failed, or neither Star Wars nor this little gem would have ever made it to the screen.Eschewing the portentous epic feel of the Wars entirely, Mike Hodges (Get Carter) goes for comic book campery, with designer Danilo Donati (a Fellini collaborator) replicating the crazy angles, primary colour saturated frames of the comic book source material. Standout scenes include the flight of the Hawkmen, the reception at Ming's court and the Emperor's never-bettered wedding vows.

Max Von Sydow, Brain Blessed and Timothy Dalton act at the intensity of pantomime. Jones (now confined to DTV hell) is perfect as the blond bombshell himself, while the Queen soundtrack ratchets the flamboyance levels up a couple of notches. The question mark after The End, though, promised a sequel that was, alas, not to be.

This campy extravaganza has it all - heroes, villains, beautiful women and high stakes. Laughably bad and fantastically good all at once, this is a guilty pleasure that everyone can enjoy.