Iron Sky, |
directed by Timo Vuorensola
(Entertainment One, 2012)
Iron Sky is a delight of a spoof through and through. The $10 million Finnish film, funded in part by Internet donations, had ambition aplenty in its premise: Nazis survived World War II and are getting ready to take over the planet. Of course it's a comedy.
In the last moments of World War II, a group of Nazis fled in a spaceship to the dark side of the moon. After 70 years up there they have built an entire world, complete with families, schools and a gigantic space fortress filled with a fleet of flying saucers. They intend to make the Fourth Reich a reality.
Interrupting their plan is James Washington, an African-American model who was sent to the moon in 2018 by a Sarah Palin-esque president who wants to restart the space program. As the Nazis take aim at Earth, using cell phone technology to take over the government in order to bring about a New World Order, a U.N league of nations engages the Nazis in a battle in space near their giant moon fortress. This is high camp at its best.
The production values are superb. Although the plot is worse than weak, the digital effects are eye-popping and, visually speaking, could easily complete with larger scale blockbuster movies. It's a fantastic bit of eye candy, which makes up for a few too many pop-culture references, some of which have been done to death. Still, it's an impressive piece of high-grade camp for the money, a sort of full-length version of "Springtime for Hitler" meets Dr. Strangelove. There are some truly hilarious moments in this genuinely absurd-in-a-good-way movie, and, if you can get past the somewhat shopworn political theater, there's a zaniness to it that will pull you in. It has heart, it has scope and it's not afraid to be good by being bad. For people who love extreme kitsch.
by Mary Harvey
It's 2018 (the very near future, for a film released in 2012) and Nazis are discovered hiding on the dark side of the moon, in a swastika-shaped base, where they've been lurking and developing new science since 1945. Now exposed, and with their technology enhanced with a supercomputer (an American astronaut's smart phone), they launch an attack on the Earth (actually, just New York City), which proves surprisingly well prepared for that contingency.
But campy fun, it is not. The plot is terrible. The acting ranges from awful to merely adequate. The dialogue is stilted and clunky. The stereotypes are awkward, when not outright offensive. And, the worst sin of all for a movie that purports to be a comedy, I barely chuckled throughout the 90-minute run time.
In short, Iron Sky is in every way bad.
There are plenty of reasons to cringe. Some of the biggest for me included the U.S. president, a Sarah Palin clone with a southern twang, who sounds funny but isn't; a campaign strategist who's given command of a U.S. starship (and, later, the UN space fleet) solely because she's mad the new fuhrer wouldn't bang her on her penthouse floor; a mad scientist who should be focusing his energies on weapons technology but only wants to drill a hole in the black guy's skull so he can measure the size of his brain; and the black guy, who made it into space without your typical NASA education and who is immediately bleached white by the moon Nazis, setting him up for lots of racist humor.
OK, I'll admit some of the special effects are pretty good. Otherwise, I hated it. But, for some reason, this movie seems to have a ton of fans online (or so the Google tells me), so it must have something going for it that I can't see.
by Tom Knapp