Doc Savage---The Man of Bronze (1975)

Genres - Action, Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama, Superhero Film  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Craig Butler

Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze is an unfortunate screen translation of the popular pulp adventure hero. Created while "camp" was still a trendy cultural buzzword, Savage misses the opportunity (that Raiders of the Lost Ark would realize a few years later) of finding the cinematic power in a straight pulp adventure. As a result, Savage is a mess of a movie, without either the conviction of its original source material or a compelling reason to be reinterpreted through the camp lens. It starts out as just plain silly, but ends up annoying; by the time the villains are reformed at the finale and join a Salvation Army band, most viewers will be irritated that the constant ridiculing of the character, situation and genre has been conducted with so little point -- and without sufficient wit. Ron Ely is physically right for Savage, and that fact alone gets him through a great deal of the film. Ultimately, though, he lacks the acting talent and (more importantly) the charisma that are necessary to make the character work, especially under these circumstances. Most of the cast is similarly weak and/or misdirected, although Paul Wexler is enjoyable. While fans of the original pulp series may not like the tone of the film, it does pay attention to some of the finer "trivia" points associated with the original.