Despite a certain amount of production dash and polish and a few silly-funny lines of dialog, Barbarella isn’t very much of a film. Based on what has been called an adult comic strip [by Jean Claude Forest], the Dino De Laurentiis production is flawed with a cast that is not particularly adept at comedy, a flat script, and direction which can’t get this beached whale afloat.
Jane Fonda stars in the title role, and comes across as an ice-cold, antiseptic, wide-eyed girl who just can’t say no. Fonda’s abilities are stretched to the breaking point along with her clothes.
In key supporting roles, John Phillip Law is inept as a simp angel while Anita Pallenberg, as the lesbian queen, fares better because of a well defined character.
Made at De Laurentiis’ Rome studios, film can’t really be called overproduced, considering the slapdash special effects, grainy process and poor calibre of the props, though put together on a massive scale so as to appear of spectacle proportions.