REVIEW: HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002) – SEASON 1 & 2

CAST

Cam Clarke (The Avengers: EMH)
Brian Dobson (Dragon Ball Z)
Mark Acheson (Watchmen)
Garry Chalk (Arrow)
Don Brown (Fantastic Four: WGH)
Lisa Ann Beley (X-Men: Evolution)
Kathleen Barr (Kid vs Kat)
Paul Dobson  (ReBoot)
Michael Donovan (Billy The Cat)
Christopher Judge (Stargate SG.1)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)
Nicole Oliver (Barbie)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)

Season 1

Eternia has seen the end of tyranny and evil. Its community lives in peace, safe in the knowledge that its greatest threats are trapped behind the great barrier in the badlands near Snake Mountain. Skeletor after many decades finally breaks through the barrier at last, and hopes to spread his bane once more, beginning with the capture of King Randor. Their liberation is detected within Castle Grayskull by the Sorceress, who informs Man-At-Arms, captain of the guards within Randor’s kingdom and a trustworthy ally, that the time has come for destiny to be fulfilled.

Prince Adam, a spoiled, almost carefree future heir to the throne of his father, Randor, is trained daily by the unrelenting Teela, his best friend. Adam is approached by Teela’s father, Man-At-Arms, who takes Adam to Castle Grayskull. There, Adam learns from the Sorceress of an approaching evil and his role in defending the kingdom as the warrior He-Man. Adam, of course, instantly rebuffs the responsibility and returns to the palace, where he finds that Skeletor’s forces have captured his father. Adam, Man-At-Arms, and Teela pursue Randor’s kidnappers into the forests, where they are ambushed. Adam is covered by Man-At-Arms as he returns to Grayskull, followed by his pet tiger Cringer, and the court magician Orko. His flight through the forest infuriates Teela, who only sees a coward leaving the scene of battle.

Adam accepts his destiny, and is granted the Sword of Power, which he uses to become He-Man. With Cringer transforming into Battle Cat, a strong and brave method of transport and assistance, He-Man returns to the scene of battle and rescues his father from Skeletor. Over the course of the first season, Randor’s armies of defense expand, some convinced to fight through encounters with He-Man. The Sorceress stands revealed as the mother of Teela. Teela’s ultimate destiny as the successor to the mantle of the Sorceress manifests in small doses physically and mentally, often causing her pain or general befuddlement at what these abilities are and what they mean for the future. Skeletor becomes aware of Grayskull’s power when he attacks it, prompting him to spend much of the season attempting to enter it.

 

Hints are made as to the fate of Skeletor’s mentor, Hordak, and the future main adversaries of the second season, the Snake Men. Much like the original series, selling toys was a key goal of this series, and He-Man and Skeletor would don variations of their costumes or different ones entirely whenever they were briefly “empowered” with an ancient relic or new technology. The first season ends on a cliffhanger in which Skeletor unites several of the other adversaries fought by the Heroic Masters into a grand council of evil. He captures most of the Masters, forcing He-Man and Teela to enter Snake Mountain. Adam becomes separated from his sword, and is soon forced to protect Castle Grayskull from Skeletor without it.

Season 2

After the events of the season one cliffhanger such as Orko returning the sword to Adam and the Heroic Masters rescued, the Snake Men took center stage as the main antagonists, having been hinted at in the first season as being trapped beneath Snake Mountain (the place being their former stronghold, hence the name and reason for its existence) inside a void. They are finally being liberated by allies existing outside of the void, as well as a treacherous Evil-Lyn.

Adam is informed of their rising by the Sorceress, and finds his He-Man armor completely different upon transformation, designed to fight the Snake Men, led by King Hiss. Skeletor would still appear from time to time, but would be gradually phased out, although had the series continued, he would have returned to his status as a major player. This season was shorter than the first, and as a result, more serialized, with certain episodes following one from another. Characters were strongly developed, and old characters reintroduced, including Fisto, who was Man-At-Arms’ brother and a disgraced soldier of the court who went AWOL during the last great war.

The third episode of this season “Out of the Past”, also told the tale of how the Sorceress, on a granted leave from her duties, nursed an amnesia-stricken soldier back to health and fell in love with him. The soldier left mysteriously before she gave birth, and therefore his identity remains a mystery, and it is debated whether or not Man-At-Arms or Fisto were the ones involved, or somebody else entirely.

The secret origins of Evil-Lyn, Skeletor, Snake Mountain, and the power of Castle Grayskull itself, were also revealed.


I thoroughly enjoyed this animated TV series.  I was a child of the early 1980’s, and my formative years involved playing with He-Man toys, so when I heard, back in 2001, that a new Masters of the Universe series was being made, I was really looking forward to this – and was not disappointed. Unlike the 1980’s show, this series has genuine continuity – lots of story arcs. And I’d say it’s made with an adult audience in mind (not that it’s graphic, but that it takes itself seriously). So while kids may enjoy it, grown-ups can too.

 

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REVIEW: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF HE-MAN

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CAST

Garry Chalk (Beast Wars)
Campbell Lane (X-Men Evolution)
Don Brown (Dragon Ball Z)
Ted Cole (Watchmen)
Mark Hildreth (V)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)
AlviN Sanders (Double Dragon)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Doug Parker (George of The Jungle)

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He-Man is the legendary “Most Powerful in the Universe” and the mighty warrior of the planet Eternia and defender of the mysterious Castle Greyskull. With his special powers and with his weapon, The Sword of Greyskull, He-Man fought the evil Skeletor who bid to rule Eternia and discover the secrets of Greyskull. He-Man has been summoned to the planet “Primus”, a world under threat from a band of evil mutants from the nearby planet “Denebria”. But Skeletor has joined forces with the mutants in his goal of universal conquest. With help from his new companions: The Galactic Guardians, a loyal squadron of soldiers led by Captain Hydron and Lt. Flipshot, Teenage girl Drissi and her brother Caz and Darius, head of the galactic council. He-Man sets out to defend Primus from Skeletor and the mutants.

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The New Adventures of He-Man is not the best of anything to do with He-Man but I didn’t think it deplorable either. I watched the series with in trepidation because I remembered disliking it as a child, but as an adult while there are flaws it is not as bad as I remembered. The pilot episode was on the uninspired side and the animation quality is uneven, a lot of the time it is colourful and unique but there are also times where the character designs are jerky and the backgrounds lack life. However, the music is catchy and cool, the action sequences are choreographed well and compel you at least and the transformation sequence was the one I remembered always really liking and that is still the case here. The writing does have some stilted moments but is often funny, intelligent and with a sense of conflict, the story-lines are thought out well and interesting and the characters whether heroes or villains are engaging. The voice acting is very good. All in all, The New Adventures of He-Man is not bad, better than I remembered. It will never be one of my favourite shows but compared to some of the awful animated shows of the past decade or so it is deserving of a better reputation.

REVIEW: SHE-RA: PRINCESS OF POWER

 

CAST (Voices)

John Erwin (Family Guy)
Melendy Britt (Being There)
Alan Oppenheimer (9)
Linda Gary (Spider-Man 90s)
Lou Scheimer (Bravestarr)
Erika Scheiemr (Hero High)
George DiCenzo (Back to The Future)

She-Ra was one of the many great cartoons from that era. Being a male movie fan I didn’t take much interest in it at first but I had enjoyed the awesome Masters of the Universe cartoon series. Back in the 80’s I decided to watch She-Ra after realising it was connected to the He-Man show.

Just like He-Man and other 80’s cartoons such as Thundercats, She-Ra had it all; swords, sorcery, action, moral dilemmas, heroics and pure fantasy. She-Ra’s world was one of fantasy and there were clear cut heroes and villains. The villain was the wicked Hordak who ruled Etheria with an iron fist but could never totally rule thanks to She-Ra.
Call me crazy but I believe 1980’s cartoons such as this can be great role models for everyone. I say that because 1980’s cartoon heroes were true good guys who helped those less fortunate than themselves and always fought against the darkness and evil. The likes of She-Ra and He-Man were role models; they upheld their morals in a dark world and they never stooped to the level of the villains. They never killed anyone no matter how evil and they always worked tirelessly for the greater good. Perhaps we can all learn something from watching these shows-but remember to enjoy them as well. There’s only so much philosophical thinking one can do whilst watching a show.

REVIEW: SHE-RA: THE SECRET OF THE SWORD

CAST (Voices)

John Erwin (Family Guy)
Melendy Britt (Being There)
Alan Oppenheimer (9)
Linda Gary (Spider-Man 90s)
Lou Scheimer (Bravestarr)
Erika Scheiemr (Hero High)
George DiCenzo (Back to The Future)

From the powers behind the very successful ‘He-Man and the Masters of the universe’ (1983), came a really original and interesting movie length cartoon called ‘The secret of the sword’ (1985). With all the true He-Man class, here is a cartoon that has had me captivated both as a kid and an adult. If you are a true He-Man fan, and have not seen ‘SOTS’, then you must see it, see it now.  Prince Adam and Cringer are asked by the Sorceress to travel to Etheria (with a new sword of power), in search of the ‘one’ who is meant for a special destiny….. to gain the powers of becoming ‘She-Ra, the princess of power!’, possessing similar powers to her twin brother, He-Man. She-Ra is able to fight and free Etheria from the grasp of the evil Horde!

The former ‘Filmation’ group produced one of the truly great cartoon movies. The story here is really fresh and original. When Prince Adam enters on a quest to find the owner of a mysterious sword, the adventure goes from one battle to another. I love how we learn about the dark secrets of the new planet ‘Etheria’, how evil the Horde have been to the planet, the rebellion (which Adam learns are trying to right the wrongs of the Horde) and how great a person Adora is going to be. Yet this story also has very original characters on both sides. Then for the story to contain the aspects of He-man’s ‘twin sister’, rounds the story of beautifully. The writers of ‘SOTS’ were Larry Ditillo and Bob Forward.

The characters of this movie are really well defined. Of course there are the normal characters of Prince Adam and his pet tiger, Cringer. Adam is summoned to Castle Grayskull by the Sorceress, whose part in the movie is of vital importance. However once Adam enters ‘Etheria’ we meet some quite extraordinary people. First off the rank is the rebel ‘Bow’ and his owl-like side kick called ‘Kowl’. Bow helps Adam escape some evil guards, after this, Bow takes him too meet the rebel leader, the beautiful Glimmer. After Glimmer, we meet the bumbling witch ‘Madam Razz’ and her talking broom stick. All of these characters are so different, making them all entertaining and interesting to learn about as Adam is on his adventure. But the bad guys are pretty evil. The hordes leader is a tyrant named ‘Hordak’. Under Hordak are some, you would have to say, pretty ordinary characters in the realms of the story. Shadow Weaver is an evil witch, with her only desire to serve her leader, you have Grizlor, Catra, Scorpia, Mantana, Leech and the flying pig, ‘imp’. However there is one character on the side of the Horde, who is slowly starting to be turned to the forces of good, that of ‘Force captain Adora’. He-Man meeting her has put doubts in her mind, so much so that she goes to learn what the Horde is really like. But under the evil spells of Shadow Weaver, Adora is kept in check. But for how long?

Then when Hordak plans an evil end to the Rebels, all seems doomed for Etheria. After He-Man is captured by Hordak, Adora has a night’s sleep that is disturbed by strange dreams. Once she wakes, she learns the secrets of her past, through her sword of power (which is just like He-Man’s, although it has a jewel in the middle of it). I won’t tell you her secret past that is for the movie to do. She is told by the Sorceress, to serve the forces of good, ‘For the honor of Grayskull’. When she holds up her sword and shouts those words she turns into ‘She-Ra, the Princess of Power!‘ Once this happens, all is much better for Etheria, but not so for Hordak, who is most displeased with the new foe that has appeared. Then when Adora decides to return to Eternia with Adam, it infuriates Hordak, so much so that he also returns with them. Here is where we see two old rivals, Hordak, and He-Man’s archenemy ‘Skeletor’ reunited, to help Hordak win back Adora. Skeletor is one of my favourite He-Man characters and here is as good as ever. I have partially looked at what the story is about, but if I am tempting you too see the movie, please by all means see it.

The people behind making the movie were the four directors, Ed Friedman, Lou Kachivas, Marsh Lamore, Bill Reed and Gwen Wetlzer who were all a part of bringing us ‘Masters of the Universe’. Here they all put their delicate touch to the film, and help bring out the great story that was written. The voiceover talents were also great on this film. Regulars like John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Erika Scheimer, Linda Gary and Eric Gunden are joined with Melendy Britt and George Dicendzo. All these people have terrific scope with their voices, and were invaluable for a movie such as this one. I really am a fan of this movie, with each aspect of it being wonderful. There was also a terrific song written for it called ‘I have the power’, performed by Erika Scheimer and Noam Kaniel. I guess my only criticism would be the exclusion of one of my favourite He-Man characters, that of Orko. I am sure he would have been an interesting character to add into the story, but I can understand the writers leaving him out. For memory, Orko appeared in an episode of the ‘She-Ra, Princess of Power’ series, which I found a big let down after this great cartoon movie. By the way, my favourite She-Ra characters are Kowl and Hordak. I will also admit that a few years ago I went on a journey to find this film and while it took some time, once I found it, the wait was worthwhile.

 

REVIEW: HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1983)- SEASON 1 & 2

CAST (Voices)

John Erwin (Family Guy)
Alan Oppenheimer (9)
Linda Gary (Spider-Man 90s)
Lou Scheimer (Bravestarr)
Erika Scheimer (Hero High)

When it comes to a cartoon that had brut force and action, nothing can go past the 1983 series of ‘He-man and the masters of the universe’. In an era that had so many great cartoons, ‘He-man’ stood tall and was a great success. He-man would have to go up as one of the great cartoons of all time. Once Prince Adam held up his magical sword and turned into ‘the most powerful man in the universe’, every kid in the 80’s was in for the ride of their life.

In the mystical planet of ‘Eternia’, lives Prince Adam, a prince who leads the lazy life of royalty. Known by only a few close friends/allies, when Prince Adam holds up his magic sword, and says ‘by the power of Grayskull’, he turns into the mighty hero, ‘He-Man’. Together with his friends (such as Teela, her father, Man-at-arms, mysterious Orko and Adam’s wimpy cat, Cringer, who turns into Battle Cat), He-Man must battle ‘the masters of the universe’, who strive to gain control of Eternia and the secrets of Castle Grayskull. Grayskull is the magical centre of Eternia, from where He-Man derives his powers, and is the one place he must defend from the evil Skeletor.

I believe He-man was successful for many reasons. There was some real inventive character in He-man. Our hero himself was an impressive and imposing character and drawn up to perfection. Other good people include Orko, Man-At-Arms (Duncan), The Sorceress, Ram-Man, Stratos, Teela, King Randor and Queen Marlena. The Bad guys include their leader, Skeletor, who is as evil a character I have seen on a cartoon. Behind Skeletor are Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, Tri-Klops, Merman and TrapJaw. They are all different types of people, with strange powers and abilities.

The voice-overs for He-man come from a limited amount of people, showing how good these people’s voiceover talents really are. Talents such as John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gray, Lou and Erika Schreimer, have a great variety of characters to voice, with some of the voices such as Skeletor’s and Orko’s, quite remarkable.

I love the world that was designed for this cartoon. Having it be as magical-a -place as ‘Eternia’, where it has great magical powers was really interesting. To then add fascinating little facets such as Castle Grayskull (the magical home of Eternia), Skeletor’s hideout Snake Mountain, the palace in the centre of Eternia and the crystal sea were good for the story. The talents behind the ideas for the He-man’s characters, home planet and storylines include

Can there be any hero that can top ‘He-man’? I believe there is not, because he was good to watch as a kid, giving us all the belief to do what is right and to not follow the path of evil. My favourite characters in the series have to be Orko and Skeletor, who had interesting stories behind them. He-man also had a twin sister named ‘She-Ra’ who had all the same magical powers as He-man, (with a great TV cartoon movie, titled ‘The Secret of the Sword’). It was interesting to learn how She-Ra comes to be and how she was taken away from her parents as a baby. It will always be a classic show.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW:HE-MAN & SHE-RA: A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

CAST

John Erwin (Babe)
Alan Oppenheimer (The Neverending Story)
Linda Gary (Spider-man 90s)
Melendy Britt (The Incredible Hulk 70s)
George DiCenzo (Close Encounters of The Third Kind)
Erika Scheimer (Bravestar)
R.D. Robb (Matilda)
Lou Scheimer (Blackstar)

While everybody else is preparing for Adam’s and Adora’s birthday, Adam is helping Man-At-Arms finish up the Sky Spy, a space shuttle intended to spy on Skeletor. The moment they head back to the palace, though, Orko gets inside the ship and messes around with the controls, causing the ship to blast off into the sky with him in it. Skeletor catches sight of the aircraft and, despite not knowing what it is or who is flying it, he gives chase after it in the Collector. Before he can take it down, He-Man and She-Ra, who are also unaware that Orko is in the Sky Spy, show up and punch a hole in the Collector, throwing it off course. Orko, meanwhile, tries to get the Sky Spy to land by way of a magic spell, which causes the shuttle to disappear from Eternia’s atmosphere and crash-land somewhere on Earth. Immediately following this, he meets two children named Miguel and Alisha, who had gone out to get their family’s Christmas tree and become lost in doing so. Orko brings them into the crashed Sky Spy, where they explain Christmas to him.
Back on Eternia, everyone discovers that Orko is missing when they find his magic spellbook, which he supposedly is never without. Man-At-Arms manages to pull up the coordinates for the Sky Spy’s location, which Queen Marlena recognizes as Earth’s coordinates. Unfortunately, Man-At-Arms’ Transport Beam needs a Carium Water Crystal, of which there are none on Eternia, in order to gain enough power to bring Orko back. Adora suggests that there might be one on Etheria, and, after secretly transforming into She-Ra, rides off on Swift Wind.
Once on Etheria, She-Ra enlists the help of Mermista to attain the crystal, which is guarded by a fierce creature known as the Beast Monster. They manage to secure the crystal in their possession, but just as She-Ra and Swift Wind prepare to leave, they are halted by a group of huge android menaces who trap them in a plastic bubble. She-Ra recognizes these robots as the Monstroids, having been told about them by some friends of hers known as the Manchines. The Monstroids then leave for their headquarters, leaving She-Ra and Swift Wind to escape.
Upon Adora’s return with the crystal, Man-At-Arms gets the Transport Beam working, and sure enough, Orko and the Sky Spy are transported back in, but Orko has brought Miguel, Alisha and their Christmas tree with them. After explanations of where they came from, the children are told that it may take a few days for the crystal to recharge before they can return to Earth, and they are quite distressed that they might miss Christmas. Queen Marlena, sympathizing with these children from her own planet, decides to combine Adam and Adora’s birthday party into a Christmas party. Meanwhile, Skeletor and Hordak are summoned by their supreme master, Horde Prime, who believes that the Christmas spirit that is now being brought to Eternia is the only thing that could stop his rise to power. He orders them to go capture the two Earth children, saying that whoever brings them to him will be well-rewarded.
Soon, just as Bow finishes writing a song he wrote about Christmas, Hordak shows up and uses a tractor beam to capture Miguel and Alisha, taking Orko with them. He and his minions do not get far, though, before their ship is brought down by the Monstroids, who take the children hostage themselves, they plan on dealing with Horde Prime themselves when he comes for the children, and force Hordak and his men to retreat. Luckily, the Manchines show up to rescue Orko and the children. The Monstroids try to stop them from escaping, but He-Man and She-Ra, having been told of the children’s location by Peekablue, show up just in time to handle them, with help from the other Manchines. But while that’s going on, Skeletor comes in and captures Miguel and Alisha, taking with them a Manchine puppy named Relay.
But then Hordak reappears and shoots down Skeletor’s sky-scooter, crash-landing him in some snowy mountains; because of this, Skeletor is now forced to bring his prisoners to Horde Prime on foot. During the trek, he finds a sudden urge of kindness that results in him fitting the children with winter jackets to protect them from the cold, bringing Relay along so he doesn’t freeze to death, and even protecting the children from a snowbeast. He also inquires the children about Christmas, all the while trying to reassure them, and himself, that he is still a bad guy. Just as Horde Prime arrives in his ship, He-Man and She-Ra finally catch up, but Hordak arrives as well; he knocks Skeletor out by deflecting a laser blast and distracts He-Man and She-Ra by sending out numerous Horde Troopers. But just in the nick of time, Relay licks Skeletor’s face; he wakes up and saves his would-be captives by shooting down Horde Prime’s ship. Obviously angry at this, Horde Prime attempts to shoot Skeletor, but He-Man and She-Ra lift his ship up and throw it into space before he has a chance to. The children thank Skeletor for saving them, a fact that He-Man is surprised at, which he reluctantly admits is true, and Skeletor is relieved to learn that he will only be overtaken by Christmas spirit once a year.
Back at the palace, as the good guys celebrate their Christmas party, Adam, dressed as Santa Claus, gives the children flying belts. Man-At-Arms then uses the Transporter to send Miguel and Alisha back to their home on Earth, where they are welcomed back by their parents.At the end of the special, Prince Adam and Orko give us a very special Christmas moral. Adam states that “Though we celebrate it and get presents, Christmas is about caring, sharing and goodwill and its spirit is within all of us”. And in fun fashion, Orko states that what make him happy on Christmas is Presents.
 This is a good famly film any famly wood love it i wood say i loved this when i was seeing it in the 80s. Its great seeing He-man and She-ra in the same film. A must see
 

REVIEW: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (Kindergarten Cop 2)
Frank Langella (The Box)
Meg Foster (Hercules: TLJ)
Billy Barty (Legend)
Courteney Cox (Scream)
Robert Duncan McNeill (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jon Cypher (Batman Beyond)
Chelsea Field (Commando)
James Tolkan (Top Gun)
Christina Pickles (The Wedding singer)
Anthony De Longis (Highlander: The Series)

The battle between good and evil stretches across the galaxy in Masters of the Universe, starting on the planet Eternia in the height of a siege on Castle Grayskull by the sorcerer Skeletor (Frank Langella). He’s obtained a way of traveling across long distances, even time, with a “cosmic key” that gave him the advantage in taking Castle Grayskull, leaving its defenders in disarray across the land’s outskirts. In an attempt to reclaim the area with the help of Gwildor (Billy Barty), the scientist who designed the key, He-Man and his compadres, Man-at-Arms (Jon Cypher) and Teela (Chelsea Field), make an attempt to reclaim the castle; but, in a fit of desperation, are transported to 1980s Earth, and lose the key in the process. Masters of the Universe transforms into a fish-out-of-water action-comedy at this point — think Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home meets Conan the Barbarian — where He-Man and his team scramble to hunt down the cosmic key with the help of two kids formerly in love: Julie (Courtney Cox in her first film role) and Kevin (Robert Duncan McNeill). Skeletor’s minions, led by the piercing gazes of Evil-Lyn (Meg Foster), aren’t far behind, and they’ll make sure He-Man’s trip back won’t be an easy one.I Masters of the Universe throws together some fairly cool-looking sword-‘n-sorcery set pieces that blur from Eternia over to Earth, which still possess a certain draw through their practical application. Director Gary Goddard and his production/art crew concentrated their efforts to achieving a full-bodied visual style that’d enthrall a wide range of audiences; the throne room at Castle Gayskull is a grand, handmade mythical space that’s given depth through cleverly-placed matte paintings, while intricate costume work achieves a blend of cinematic curio and “toy-ready” appeal. Playing into that, Frank Langella disappears into the prosthetics and make-up of Skeletor, while the angles and contours created with his stark-white facial moldings still capture the stone-faced force of his performance. Also, the practical Star Wars-esque effects built within certain scenes — lightning from Skeletor’s hands, the crack of an electric whip, and the movement of air gliders — give it a familiar whimsy, while wearing influences clearly on its sleeve.Grandeur can’t hide the perfunctory, unimaginative plotting at its core though, overflowing with moustache-twirling villains and goofy keep-it-rolling storytelling that’s more of a chore than charismatic. While Gary Goddard and The Dark Crystal screenwriter David Odell (among other uncredited writers) draw influence from Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” comic series for its grand essence, basic contrivances are what flimsily glue the chapters together; secret passages conveniently lead to locations where He-Man and his crew need to be, grappling hooks grab things in the nick of time, and they always have the materials they need on-hand to repair elaborate tech. Perhaps that’s a part of making the film accessible to other audiences, almost like a darker version of one of the cartoons, but there’s a missing layer that prevents it from bottling the adventuresome magic needed. A few well-written “stranger in a strange land” moments add to the experience, such as how the Eternians react to eating a bowl of fried chicken, but they’re eclipsed by nagging goofball things like how Gwildor makes his cosmic space-travel device work by just sporadically banging on the keys for varying lengths of time.Still, Dolph Lundgren throws Masters of the Universe over his burly shoulders and stoically lugs it through active laser-pistol duels and frantic searches for the key to get back to Eternia, piecing together into a bearable journey that’s not without its own mindless fun. In his sparse warrior garb and shoulder armor that bare almost every muscle he’s got, Lundgren fits the bill of the sword-wielding hero really well — a visually-comparable, noble PG answer to Arnie’s Conan. His rapport with Skeletor is an overt black-and-white conflict, full of gallant speeches and calls of superiority in the cosmos, yet there’s an admirable quality in the straight-faced, scenery-chewing pomposity that Frank Langella evokes in the arch-nemesis. Clunky battles and higher-than-high stakes shove Gary Goddard’s film towards an unsurprising climax, but at least it stays consistent all the way up to that odd-defying moment everyone’s expecting: where the hero confidently stands and insist that he does, indeed, have the power.