ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – O – Flash Gordon (1980) Movie Review

We are under O because of star Ornella Muti.

Director: Mike Hodges

Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr, Michael Allin (Screenplay) Alex Raymond (Characters)

Starring: Sam J Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed

Plot: A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.


Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Gloriously over the Top

Story: Flash Gordon starts when Flash Gordon (Jones), Dale Arden (Anderson) and Dr Zarkov (Topol) accidently leave Earth finding themselves on the planet Mongo, face to face with their evil ruler The Emperor Ming (von Sydow).

After becoming captured, Flash must search for his friends, break out and defeat the evil Emperor Ming to save planet Earth.

Thoughts on Flash Gordon

Characters – Flash Gordon is a star football player whose latest adventures ends up taking him to space, where he clashes with an evil emperor, one that wants to destroy Earth. He must first learn the culture of the new planet, before stepping up to become the hero both planets require. Dale is the girlfriend of Flash, she hates flying and is the damsel in distress that is often needed rescuing. The Emperor Ming has been ruling Mongo for years, keeping the land in his fear and always looking to expand to other planets, with his latest target being Earth, ready for his destruction. We meet the leaders of the different kingdoms, where they rule under Ming, only they are waiting for a chance to reach a level to escape him and fight for the freedom of the land.

PerformancesSam J Jones is a lot of fun in the leading role, he embraces the film to make his character stand out, Max von Sydow is one of the few actors that could always play a villain and here he makes him a truly enjoyable campy villain. The rest of the cast do a good job through the film, they all understand how their characters are meant to be performed.

StoryThe story here follows an America footballer that ends up on a new planet, where he must help unite the planet in an attempt to fight back against an evil emperor that has been looking to destroy Earth. This is a story that brings to life a massively ambitious world that understands it isn’t going to take anything too seriously and just wants to have fun. The story is all about trying to make sure the rebels could fight back against an evil leader, with the right leader and inspiration. While we do see the brutality of the villain, it does seem to become tamer as the film unfolds, where others do most of the evil side of his work.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is laser shooting, fights, which including football tackles and plenty of over the top situations, with the adventure take Flash to a new world, in space, a perfect creation for the sci-fi side of the film, where everything works well for the future style for the time.

SettingsThe film takes us to a new planet Mongo, where we have the different creation per kingdom, one with a futuristic world throughout.

Special EffectsThe effects have dated, but they would have worked for the release to complete play into the cheesy style of the film.


Scene of the Movie – The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too random how Flash just randomly goes to space.

Final Thoughts This is a full blown cheese fest of a movie, it is enjoyable because nothing is taken seriously and could be one everyone gets a kick out of.

Overall: Cheesy Fun.

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