CERT: PG | FORMAT: 4K BLU-RAY | RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 10TH
Flash Gordon's reputation has grown over the years and, watching this glorious 40th anniversary 4k restoration, you can see why.
The things it was criticised for back then are now its crowning achievements. Its comic book nature translates perfectly to the screen, acting and script strike the right balance of fun and gravity and the whole thing speeds along like an Ajax rocket.
The ropey effects are now filled with loving nostalgia. They are breathtakingly beautiful, especially the stunning cloudscapes. And the production design is out of this world - rarely has a film looked so good. Queen's score is the best thing they ever did, although most of it is the work of Howard Blake.
Max Von Sydow as Ming gets it just right with a menacing balance of charm and sadism. Topol's bonkers turn as Zarkov matches the film perfectly, not knowing whether it's high camp or serious SF, and the rest of the cast go along with it - Timothy Dalton coming across all Errol Flynn, Peter Wyngarde stealing scenes with just his voice and, of course, Brian Blessed.
A host of extras includes a commentary from Blessed and one from director Mike Hodges. Both Sam Jones and Melody Anderson appear in the 90 minute “Life After Flash” documentary which provides a fascinating insight into what happens when you don't become a big film star, but it all gets a bit 'praise Jesus.' More interesting is a documentary about the year Nic Roeg spent working on the film before Dino de Laurentiis abandoned his serious dystopian version for something more fun. If only both versions had been made...