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USA 1986
Directed by
Jim Henson
101 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1.5 stars


Looking like a cross between Rod Stewart and Elton John on a bad hair day, I doubt that David Bowie who stars as Jareth The Goblin King (and whose songs, a jarring mixture of enigmatic lyrics and disco era production values also features here) would regard this kiddie fantasy romp as a career high. A 15-year old Jennifer Connelly co stars as Sarah who accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his labyrinth in thirteen hours.

Scripted by Monty Python's Terry Jones from an original idea by Muppet Master and the film's director, Jim Henson, technically the special effects are rather homely, even by 1980s standards, and the execution of the story lacks in zest or atmosphere. Still it is regarded widely as a cult movie, which means, as with films such as The Princess Bride which came out the following year, it belongs in a category which speaks resonantly to a specific audience, that being people who grew up in the 80s. Clearly I am not one of them.




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