Don't be fooled into watching some science fiction extravaganza, this is strictly action-adventure fodder packed with plenty of shoot-outs and buggy chases through desert locations which seem to have been simply inspired by the exploits in MAD MAX 2. Thanks to the short running time the usual prison clichés are brought up and gone through at speed, and the film-makers just can't wait to get to the action parts of the story hence the lack of any likable or realistic characters at all and the incredibly high death toll of just about the entire cast by my reckoning, with the one exception (I mean who the heck has Farnsworth got left by the end of the movie?). The special effects are limited to a couple of dodgy model spaceships but there's the usual quota of not-bad explosions and some well-executed stunts and shoot-outs for action fans to enjoy.
Although the sets and props tend to look cheap, the low budget action is handled pretty well and the film is nicely violent, with lots of bloody bullet impacts and sadistic murders. The somewhat recognisable cast tend to come off badly though and you could say that this is a film where everybody simply phones in their performance. Michael Pare is an unlikable sadistic villain and plays it woodenly whilst John Laughlin is awful as the young, carefree hero bounty hunter who snaps when his wife is shot dead. As for Richard Farnsworth, well he plays his usual hard-mannered stubborn old self and is the best thing in the film. Thanks to the wealth of action, this film is never boring - instead, just dumb. Only of use if your brain has had a hard day and you need something painless and totally lacking in plot motivation or twists of any kind to keep you engaged with repetitive violence and lots of deaths. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
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