Like The Full Monty, this was a film I really should have seen years ago. Especially considering I’ve been listening to the soundtrack since I was knee high and absolutely love Queen. (And yes, I have seen Highlander.) Flash Gordon was…well, brilliant. It’s really, really fun, and before I get into this, I have to say, if like me you have not seen this film, go watch it. Now. Thank me later.
Flash Gordon, an American football player, is flying back from vacation with Dale (not sure why she’s on the private jet, but whatever. This is not a film for explanations) when something bad happens to the pilots. In trying to land the plane, Flash crashes into the research facility of one Doctor Hans Zarkov (formerly of NASA). Strange things are happening to Earth, and the doctor is proven right in what he has been saying for years. Aliens are attacking. But to go and stop them, he needs one other person with him to…keep their foot on a red pedal. Because he can’t do that himself?? (He doesn’t seem to actually do anything when they get in the rocket) His assistant runs away before Zarkov can drag him with him, and he forces Flash and Dale to go with him instead.
(No one ever said this film made sense.)
There were many times in the film where I thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous. I was proved wrong, every single time. Flash wears a t-shirt with his name across it, him and Dale fall in love really, really quickly, even if most of the film is spent with them apart. On Mongo, the main home of Emperor Ming, Flash tries to ‘save’ them. I thought “how? With the power of football?” The doctor throws him an egg and, yep, Flash uses the power of football! It was brilliant!
There were so many things about this film that just made me smile. It’s over the top, camp, funny, and doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest. You have a slutty, only-cares-for-herself princess and a Prince called Baron who feels like he’s lifted out of English legend. Then there are the Hawkmen. Oh, man, the Hawkmen. How can you not love a film where Brian Blessed flies about in golden wings?
Not to mention everything else about Brian Blessed. I mean, the guy’s a legend (punching polar bears, going to space next year…and I saw him today! But that’s for the next blog post.) And he has some brilliant moments in this film, not just the now famous ‘Gordon’s alive?’ line, but there’s also perhaps my favourite moment of the film. Right before the Hawkmen fly into battle, Blessed says “Who wants to live forever?” and does the brilliant laugh of his, a very much ‘get the joke’ moment.
Which brings me onto the soundtrack. Queen! Who doesn’t love Queen? And every song in this film, which I knew off by heart anyway, ramps up the excitement. It’s a shame there’s not more films out there like this and Highlander. I mean, each song brings something to this film. Altogether now, Flash, ahhhaaaa…
Anyway! Yeah, Flash Gordon is just one of those films that makes you smile. It’s a joy to watch, and I am ashamed at not having seen it before. It’s really fun, silly and everything you want from a film like this. So like I said before, if you haven’t seen it before, what the hell are you waiting for? And if it doesn’t make you smile, you are cold-hearted with no sense of humour.
Similar to with books, I’m always looking for films to review. So if you think there’s a film everyone has to see, let me know and I’ll check it out, even if I’ve seen it before I’ll give it a revisit.