Masters of the Universe

Release Date: 8/7/1987 – Rated PG

Starring: Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier), Courtney Cox (Scream), Billy Barty (Willow)

Plot Summary: The land of Eternia is in peril, as Skeletor has seized control of Castle Grayskull and it’s keeper, The Sorceress.  The heroic He-Man and his group of friends, are all that is left from keeping Skeletor from seizing absolute power over Eternia.  The heroic group, including Man -At-Arms and a fully clothed Teela (Boo!) encounter a short creature (sorry, it’s not Orko) named Gwildor, who is the inventor of the cosmic key. The key was stolen from him by Skeletor, which is how is he wound up taking control of the castle, but all is not lost… he has a spare.  The group goes to take back control of the castle, but are surrounded by Skeletor’s forces; which include some .  Gwildor quickly opens a portal with the key, as the heroes jump in to escape.  They end up in present day (1987) SoCal intact, but the key has gone missing.  They team up with some teenagers to try to find it, but Skeletor has tracked them there and manages to capture He-Man, and returns to Eternia.  The rest of the group has no leader and now no key, as their key is damaged and is not able to make the tones necessary to open a new portal; but wait! this is the 80’s, there are keyboards everywhere.  They use one and get back in time to save He-Man and with his help they defeat Skeletor, and by ‘defeat’ we mean throw him down a huge pit.

Alex’s Thoughts: What, no Stinkor or Trap Jaw?  I call bullshit on this one!  But in all seriousness, this movie is pretty far removed from the cartoon and toy line of the 1980’s, but that isn’t a problem.  Granted it was when I first saw this as a kid in the movie theatre, my little heart was broken that this wasn’t a live action movie with all of the characters I had come to know and love through Saturday morning cartoons and all the toys I begged my mother for.  So initially this movie left a bad taste in my mouth for many years.  Watching it as an adult, I look at it differently.  For a movie like this to be anything like the cartoon, you’d need an $80 million budget; but alas, this one only had $20 million, so you get what you get.  For what it is, it isn’t bad.  Any child of the 80’s should give this one a try.

Tim’s Thoughts: Like Alex I was pissed that this wasn’t like the cartoon, but as an adult I knew I had to see it again to see if I hated it as much as I did 20 years ago. It didn’t hurt that I did a little research to try to understand why it wasn’t like the cartoon, and turns out He-Man started as a toy line, and the rights to the movie and cartoon were sold separately (like Battle-Cat). So that being said, I like this movie now, there is no better casting choice for He-Man than Dolf, and this is a one of a kind movie that could probably never be remade. (There’s probably is script running through Hollywood as we speak) another fun factoid, the sequel to this turned into Cyborg 2, the Cyborganing, or something like that. Anyways this goes into the too weird to not be true category, and is fun if you aren’t looking for Citizen Kane.

Final Thoughts:   If you want something closer to the cartoon, you’re going to have to stick with making a stop-motion movie with those action figures you dug out of your mom’s basement.  Trick your girlfriend into watching this with you by telling her that Courtney Cox in it as the main Earth girl in danger, so it’s kind of like watching Cougar Town.  Any child of the 80’s will appreciate this more now, we think. Now if we can just that that Thundercats movie made with Anne Hathaway as Cheetara…

Hordak Rates This Movie 7/10

Moss Man Rates This Movie 7/10

“The people of Eternia will see you kneel before me, JUST before you die!”


View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue