Sleeper (1973)

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Sleeper (1973)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:06 pm

Woody Allen's hilarious take on waking up 200 years in the future, in year 2173. He also plays the lead, a hapless schlup who unwittingly does the Rip Van Winkle bit - placed in cryogenic sleep by accident in 1973. He's awoken in a brave new world by scientists who are members of a revolutionary group struggling against the current totalitarian regime. They need him to pull off a secret mission because he's the very rare bird who isn't documented. Things quickly go sideways and Woody is on the run from rather inefficient police enforcers. He takes a spoiled and vacuous member (Diane Keaton) of this society hostage but the two soon fall in love.
Allen mixes sight & physical gags with his usual wry commentary on societal mores. We find out, for example, that tobacco is actually the best thing for a human body. Many of the expected sci-fi tropes are given a new twist - robots as servants, flying jet-packs, pleasure machines, artificial foods, and some kind of futuristic cannon that the chasing police use and which never works properly. We also get to see Keaton do a Brando imitation. This comedy takes many of its cues from the much more grim THX-1138 and A Clockwork Orange of a couple of years earlier, especially the overall plot of a controlled populace and brainwashing. However, this itself was copied by many later movies and TV, from Death Race 2000 (the mysterious leader) to Futurama. Co-stars John Beck, who shows up late as the leader of a resistance cell which follows Marxism. BoG's Score: 8 out of 10
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