'Masters of The Universe' Review: I Have the Power!
Watching a poorly rated science fiction movie from the 80’s is a bit like eating two day old Chinese food. Sure it looks pretty bad, it probably doesn’t taste too good either, but in the end you’ll end up enjoying it a little bit one way or the other. Masters of the Universe is like two day old Chinese food, except instead of sweet and sour sauce you get Dolph Lundgren’s body grease.
To those unfamiliar with the world of Eternia (as I was), Masters of the Universe follows childhood action figure icon He-Man (Lundgren) and his battles with the evil tyrant Skeletor (Frank Langella). He-Man had a very popular run as an animated TV show and was immensely popular as an action figure line. In this adaptation He-Man is joined by his comrades Teela (Chelsea Field) and her father Man-at-Arms (Jon Cypher). Together, they must stop Skeletor and his army of Evil Warriors from taking the Castle Grayskull; a seat of power that will grant the knowledge of the universe to whoever holds it. After initially losing the fight in their home world of Eternia, He-Man and his friends are transported to 1980’s Earth where they enlist the aid of Julie (Courtney Cox) and her boyfriend.
Yes, the movie is just as ridiculous as you would imagine from that description. The movie is also based more off the line of toys than the TV show, mainly for marketing purposes. Essentially this movie is to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe what Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin was to Batman the Animated Series. But before you start skimming lines and proceeding to the verdict which you’ve most likely predicted as “skip it,” hear me out. I went into this movie expecting little more than your generic, campy 80’s sci-fi flick and guess what? I was pleasantly surprised.
Honestly this movie has a lot of faults: weak acting by key characters, a weaker script, the gaping plot holes of any cash grab 80’s movie etc. The product of it all however, is surprisingly enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong it’s a mediocre movie, but if you enjoy witty one liners and the flashy effects of the 80’s you’d have a hell of a time with this movie. It’s aged horribly in many regards yes, but some of the special effects are surprisingly good. The sets are intricate, the props look convincing and the costumes (or lack thereof in Lundgren’s case) are very well done. Langella and Field also deliver entertaining performances as Skeletor and Evil-Lyn (if that name isn’t a reason to go watch the movie I don’t know what is).
To enjoy Masters of the Universe don’t go in with any expectations, just let the movie take its course and decide for yourself if you were a fan or not. Too many times do we have biased opinions going into movies because of a bad Rotten Tomatoes score. If you’re a fan of 80’s action or sci-fi you shouldn’t even need convincing because you’ve either watched the movie already or will soon. If you’re ever in need of a good laugh or the perfect bad sci-fi movie to share with friends, look no further then Masters of the Universe.
Final Verdict: Watch It