Friday, June 21, 2013

5x5 Movie review: Iron Sky

So, as far as high concepts go, "Moon Nazis" has got to be as high as they come, so it was just a matter of time, I suppose, before somebody made Iron Sky. It was, in fact, made in 2012 as an international joint venture; there seemed to be more countries and/or production companies participating in this film than were in the Coalition of the Willing. The plot, such as it is, has Nazis fleeing to the dark side of the moon in 1945 and remaining undetected for over 60 years; their invasion of Earth is made possible when they capture an American astronaut and obtain his "badass cellphone" to power the Gotterdammerung, their space battleship. As the "plot" - and I use the word loosely - unfolds, we find there are good Nazis, bad Nazis, and very bad Nazis with competing interests. Here's the rundown on this inevitable movie.

1. Awesome dieselpunk: the Nazi spacesuits and moon sidecars, big gears and levers everywhere, lots of wires and tubes, zeppelin-shaped spaceships and cool flying saucers - even the weapons are great.

2. I'm sorry, but the Sarah Plain analogue as president already seems dated; naming the American spaceship The George W. Bush might have legs a little longer, but not much.

3. The movie alludes to EC Comics, Dr. Strangelove (twice), and probably more other sources that I didn't catch. Some smart stuff.

4. The film lost me when the 'good guys' bombed women and children - the overall tone of the movie was not absurd or black-humored enough for this to fly, and it was filmed in a way that would have fit in a straight movie. Aside from being unnecessary (the movie had big enough holes in its plot to hide this situation in) it was a real false note in the mood.

5. I know this film has gotten a lot of geek love, and there's a lot to love about it, but I'm going to have to say that ultimately it does not succeed. It's not well-crafted enough to be taken seriously, even with a (for want of a better term) comic-book sensibility, and yet it is not silly, over the top, or crappy enough to be so-bad-it's-good. It did make me laugh out loud a few times, and that doesn't happen often.

I hear they're making a sequel....

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