Critic Consensus: Zardoz is ambitious and epic in scope, but its philosophical musings are rendered ineffective by its supreme weirdness and rickety execution.
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Critic Reviews for Zardoz
[Zardoz] demonstrates how one can make a cheap sci-fi flick look like a cheap sci-fi flick by using mirrors and prisms as substitutes for imagination.
Probably John Boorman's most underrated film-an impossibly ambitious and pretentious but also highly inventive, provocative, and visually striking SF adventure.
Such a wildly ambitious misfire that you can't help but root for it, or at least feel some twisted sense of affection for it.
Zardoz is a futuristic, metaphysical and anthropological drama testing John Boorman in three creative areas. The results: direction, good; script, a brilliant premise which unfortunately washes out in climactic sound and fury; and production, outstanding.
The script gradually falls apart into a mess of philosophical pottage under the whimsically pretentious Tolkien influence. But visually the film remains a sparkling display of fireworks, brilliantly shot and directed.
Audience Reviews for Zardoz
All sci-fi have the imprint of the times that made them and few as much as this one, a gloriously wild and futuristic party that ultimately goes nowhere. Society has found a way to cheat death, it appears, but that's about all. Nothing else seems worthwhile afterwards and so life becomes a bore, a party wherein everyone's heard all the jokes that there are. Connery's character, named Zed (get it?) is created then to kill the endless monotony, and everyone else. It's an ambitious work with a unique take on the future and interesting, particularly with it's partier's eye for entertainment (which matches succinctly with the view of most sci-fi devotees). Most worthy.
An underrated futuristic social satire that is definitely self-indulgent but also more thought-provoking and smart than it appears to be, while its mind-blowing visuals and bizarre dialogue contribute to give shape to a surrealistic allegory that is both fascinating and original.
An "outlander" mortal killer stows away inside a flying head to reach "the vortex," a land of bored immortals who view him as either a threat, a curiosity, or a savior. The crazy mix of high camp (Sean Connery running around in a red diaper), serious speculative sci-fi and budget psychedelic effects could only have been made in the 1970s; it's a highly entertaining cult movie time capsule.
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