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Mr McKenzie, you stand before me again accused of a crime possibly more heinous than any of the accusations that have previously been made against you. I've got a good mind to find Masters of the Universe guilty right now and be done with the trial, but the judicial process compels me to listen to both sides of the argument...

Guilty Pleasures: Masters of the Universe


Let me begin by pointing out the most obvious and condemning fact about this movie—this is Masters of the Universe in name only. There is none of the humour or charm of the original cartoon and there are significant exclusions from the story. Gone are Orko, King Randor and Battle Cat to name just a few key characters. I know the budget was an issue, but come on—how much does it really cost to rent a lion for a day and spray it with green paint? The muscle-bound Dolph Lundgren may have seemed like a good choice for He-Man, but he doesn't exactly ooze charisma and he's regularly upstaged by Skeletor and the incredibly annoying Orko substitute Gwildor (Exhibit A).

Guilty Pleasures: Masters of the Universe
Exhibit A: Come back Orko, all is forgiven!

One of the most important character traits is completely missed out without any explanation. At the beginning He-Man is already He-Man and at no point does anyone say 'Hey, where's Prince Adam? I haven't seen him for ages.' Also conspicuous by their absence are Skeletor's main henchmen, with the exception of Evil-Lyn and a Beast Man that looks like he's the black sheep of Chewbacca's family. Instead of the live action Trap Jaw and Jitsu that the fans were looking for, we get new bad guys that are pretty useless. Granted, Blade is a neat addition, allowing He-Man to have a proper sword fight, but it's obvious that the likes of Karg were only added in to sell new action figures (Exhibit B).