After watching it today, I am reminded both of how bad the movie is, and how highly I regarded it as a child. I know that it is not valid critique to use nostalgia as a positive point of argument for a picture, but in a most personal case, I'm going to. "Masters of the Universe" was a movie that existed on the very fringes of my memory, and it is a movie that I thought I would never see again. The esteem that I hold for it from my childhood carries over today, so I am lighter on the film's inadequacies than I should be.
In reality, "Masters of the Universe" is not a very good movie. In fact, it is a lousy movie. Dolph Lundgren is a terrible choice for He-Man, even though he looks the part. It has low production values, and a story that is far too ludicrous to even be considered, let alone made into a major motion picture. On top of all of that, "Masters of the Universe" isn't even a true adaptation of the cartoon. Other than a few characters, most of them are created solely for this movie, and there is a frighteningly low amount of knowledge about the lore of the original cartoon. It is as if the film makers saw pictures of a couple of the characters, and then decided to start from scratch, and make up their own history. It is a crushingly disappointing adaptation for those kids that were hardcore He-Man fans.
And yet, despite all of this, I still look on with admiration. I love the tone of “B” action flicks of this era, and all of the cheesiness that came hand-in-hand with it. I like some of the character design (especially Skeletor) and the re-imagining of some things is actually kind of fun.
But it is nostalgia, above all, that keeps me from hating "Masters of the Universe". Nothing can transport me back to the time of being a kid more than the movies I used to watch, and I will always look back to that time as the most enjoyable of my life. I suppose that is why I try to review so many family movies.