Masters of the Universe is an absolutely awful movie, but like most awful movies in of it’s ilk I can’t help but watch it whenever it’s on. It goes into that strange Batman & Robin territory of ‘so bad it’s good’. The truth of the matter though is that I used to think this movie was incredible.
Growing up, I wasn’t really into He-Man much. Sure I watched the cartoon quite often, but I never loved He-Man like I did Ghost Busters and Ninja Turtles. When the live action film hit video (I didn’t see it in theaters, though I remember wanting to) I loved it. I remember being so glad there was no crappy Prince Adam to deal with, and to this day that’s one of the film’s biggest strengths. Face it, Prince Adam is the worst. When you’re watching He-Man all you want to do is see He-Man fighting people. You don’t want to have to deal with Prince Adam. So it was a wise choice to cut out Prince Adam from this movie. I guess it would be kind of like making a Spiderman movie where Spiderman is never Peter Parker, but I suppose that would be kind of awesome too.
Despite this being a plus, the filmmakers manage to replace Prince Adam with something worse, two stupid teenagers. This essentially gives the audience two Prince Adams to deal with. It’s one of those movies that is ashamed of the fact that it’s dealing with a licensed kids property and masks it behind the guise of regular humans in a cheap and easy effort to make the audience connect with their story. This is very similar to the approach Michael Bay takes with his Transformers movies, where despite being called Transformers, is really about Sam and his relationship. In this case, He-Man isn’t really about He-Man. It’s about Courteney Cox and her boyfriend, and Courteney’s journey to fixing time so her parents don’t die. He-Man, much like the Transformers, is only used as a way to tell that story. Going back to Spiderman again, it would be like making a Spiderman film where some made up character is the main character, and Spiderman is only around to set things in motion and fight bag guys for that person. Come to think of it, I guess if they made a film about Spiderman in which there was no Peter Parker, it would probably be exactly like that.