Iron Sky Review

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So after several years of struggling through production, lack of funds and fans rallying for support we finally have Iron Sky. But why was the ‘little space Nazi film that could’ only warranted a couple of showings in two London cinemas? I suspect it’s because Iron Sky is simply terrible.

Outside of saying Nazis on the moon there is little else going on; they ended up on the dark side of the moon after WW2, hiding out plotting their vengeful return to Earth until some U.S astronauts stumble upon them and instigate their invasion. The opening provides some competent FX, which for anyone who followed the film’s progress knows is what essentially garnered most of the films interest and eventual backing. But within a mere few seconds of dialogue things plummet fast and that’s before we get to Earth where the majority of the shoddiest scenes are played.

I found myself aghast at the crushingly weak level of humour, not as in low-brow but just plain unfunny. The comedy is stupefying, no better than that of say Epic Movie or its related titles of weak faux-parody; Iron Sky certainly shares the same level of intelligence and talent for satire. The script (which ironically doesn’t cost any money and call for any fundraising) topping the long list of embarrassments. I would never suggest that Norwegians shouldn’t write for black American characters but when using lines like ‘’You must be trippin’’ in 2012 (cue my brain searching for irony that didn’t exist) it becomes hard not to flinch; also note that placing a black guy in front of Nazis does not instantly create hilarity and therefore everyone in repetitive scenes mentioning that there is a black man in their presence does not at any point make it funnier. This kind of scenario is consistent with the rest of the film in that it’s shockingly dated throughout. I cannot fathom why the writer’s didn’t bare in mind the changing faces of politics and how overused some satirical references patently become, so having a Sarah Palin parody front and centre reflects a glaring amount of incompetence on the creator’s part.
As far as a Nazi film goes the film manages to somehow provide absolutely no edge, I was surprised that Nazis could be portrayed as so unthreatening and aloof. I understand this is supposed to be a comedy but the bad guys still have to be bad for context sake surely. Relying on scowling, uniforms and a couple of racial purity mentions make for lame villains. I am still none the wiser as to if they wanted the film to appear controversial and considering it’s hijacked a villain rife with it, I thought a little might be on show to elevate the mild exploitation approach. The performances are largely awful; here and there the occasional actor can be seen trying but most call for nothing but rolled eyes. Action-wise apart from some dull space ship combat there is hardly any and what there is has been done badly; shot often with slow motion possibly used to cover cracks in the choreography. Odd considering we’ve all seen many a low budget film manage to make someone falling over or getting hit look convincing, here it’s baffling that many of the takes used were deemed acceptable and don’t even work on a slapstick level.

The aesthetic is similar to the creaky Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; it’s a clunky appearance with a bloom-lit sheen that makes things a bit cheap-dream-sequence looking, one of many ill-advised decisions on display; alongside the casting, soundtrack comedy cues and some truly embarrassing make-up and wardrobe choices. The dated political humour is off by miles but even if you removed the stale references you’re still left with terribly unfunny jokes and a tone which would be lame in any decade. It’s strange to say about a film that involves Nazis but I don’t doubt that the makers of Iron Sky had the best of intentions in producing a fun film but those behind the camera clearly lack skill beyond creating some kind of impressive CGI on a budget space designs.

(May 2012)

http://www.thefilmpilgrim.com/reviews/iron-sky-review/8743

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