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Masters of the Universe
(1987 Film)

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Masters of the Universe (1987):  This is a good movie, just not a good adaptation.  What do I mean by that?  This live-action film which is based on the popular TV cartoon series and toyline could hardly be any more different.  For those who haven't already seen this film, let me clue you in to a few things.

Dolph Lundgren

    Many of the important characters from the cartoon are not here including Orko the magician and  He-Man's pet Cringer/Battlecat to name a few.  The Sorceress is not a vibrant young beauty in a bird costume, but an old lady in some other type of mystic wardrobe.  Although the movie starts out in a battle-ravaged Eternia (the setting for the cartoon), it is almost entirely set on Earth!  He-Man's secret identity of Prince Adam is not mentioned.  There is also no King Randor or Queen Marlena even mentioned in passing.  And as far as the villains are concerned, the only ones that come from the cartoon are Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, and Beastman; all others are original to this movie.

Dolph Lundgren

    We see a lot of new characters in this movie.  Gwildor is a dwarf-like creature who is also the inventor of a cosmic key that opened a doorway to Earth.  He's a goofy little guy and a character they created to compensate for Orko, I'm guessing.  He's a good character, though, played by the always amusing Billy Barty.  Skeletor's main thugs besides Evil-Lyn and Beastman include newbies Blade, Karg, and Saurod.  Blade is a crazy-looking bald assassin with swords and human.  Karg is just another furry critter like Beastman.  Saurod is a character that looks something like an anemic version of Predator.  They're good characters for any standard film, but definitely not as interesting visually as characters like Whiplash the lizard man or Two-Bad the siamese twin monster might have been, to name a few.

Dolph Lundgren

    The actors are all very top-notch.  Dolph Lundgren dazzles as He-Man.  He spent four months getting his body into condition before the filming of this movie and it really paid off.  I can't think of anyone else at that time that would have made even half as good of He-Man as Dolph did.  DOLPH ROCKS!  I think it's weird that He-Man wears a cape in this movie, but whatever.  He doesn't wear it throughout the whole movie, which is good.  Jon Cypher as Man-at-Arms is another excellent portrayal...a witty survivalist.  Teela is tough and sexy.  Frank Langella really brings the character of Skeletor to life.  He truly captures the personality of the cartoon character.  Extremely heartless and equally ruthless!  Last, but not least, is Meg Foster as Evil-Lyn.  I like Meg Foster as an actress very much in all her projects.  Besides being drop-dead gorgeous she has those wild green eyes!  Her Evil-Lyn is a great manipulator and even more of a three-dimensional personality than her cartoon counterpart.  Foster's Evil-Lyn is certainly more intelligent.

    Most of the movie is set at night and isn't as bright and optimistic as the cartoon adventures.  It is more realistic, however.  I think the creators of this movie were trying to emulate the Star Wars films more than the He-Man cartoon.  The cartoon series was purely fantasy with talking animals, magic spells, and such.  This movie has a lot of laser weapon gunplay, spaceships, and hand-to-hand fighting that makes it a strictly science-fiction film.  I love this film!  However, it is a far departure from the cartoon show.  If you don't mind that idea, you'll love it, too!  If you're expecting goofy characters like Orko, Cringer, and Skeletor's standard thugs with G-rated adventures that's purely for kiddies, be warned.  This He-Man film is for us big kids...basically anyone over 12.