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Flash Gordon (1980)

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Flash Gordon is a movie based on a famous King Features Syndicated comic strip and coming after a log string of serial's that were shown weekly at movie theaters in the 1930's and 1940's. Flash Gordan even inspired a cartoon series Defenders of the Earth, and inspired numerous spin off movies and shows featuring other characters.

This incarnation of the classic comic strip character opens with Earth's greatest scientist Dr Zarkov tinkering with his scientific gadgets and gauges. The Earth is under a barrage of meteors that he believes are coming from outer space. Flash Gordon a legendary football player and his girlfriend Dale Arden end up going on a trip with Zarkov into space in search of the cause of the disturbances on Earth.

After a brief travel in space the trio arrives on a strange alien world, Mondo which is filled with mini kingdoms and cultures. The supreme ruler of this world is Ming the Merciless. The group of human adventurers is brought before Ming. Flash performs a football like game against Ming's guards as a sign of defiance. He seems to be doing quite well as he knocks them out with a metal ball and rams through them like they are nothing. Are the men taking the proper vitamins, Ming inquires. Ultimately Dr Zarkov tosses the metal ball to Flash and knocks him out.

Flash is scheduled to be executed but Ming's daughter, Princess Aura finds Flash appealing so she conspires with one of her father's doctor's to fake Flash's death. From that point on Flash escapes and meets up with the tree people of the planet Mondo. For years the tree people have had a running dispute with another group on the planet, the hawkmen and their outspoken chief. If only these groups could team up they could overthrow Ming, Flash reasons.

With time Flash fights and befriends the leader of the tree people. Dr Zarkov has his mind probed but has so much knowledge it wasn't even harmful to him. Dale, Flash's girlfriend is scheduled to be married to Ming the Merciless and the people of planet Mondo appear completely subdued under the rule of Ming. But before the wedding can be completed and Ming's people lose all hope, Flash leads an atack to liberate Mondo.

By the movie's end Hawkmen fill the skies, explosions fill the air, and battles rage on inside Ming's palace. Flash saves the universe and does the impossible. Ming dies as a gigantic spaceship stabs right through his body. Or does he truly die? To a beautiful score from fabled music group Queen the movie presents colorful scenery, amazing costumes and unique weapons of all sorts.

In a way this is a motivational film, a Sci-fi action film, and a musical. Its an action film because of the actions of Flash the hero. Its a musical in that the film's score just causes the heart to race as if a training song from Rocky is playing throughout the movie. Its a Sci-fi film in that the costumes in this movie are the most exotic and varied of any film other than the Star Wars movies.

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