Friday, February 22, 2013

Iron Sky - QC Review

Directed byTimo Vuorensola
Starring:  Julia Dietze, Gotz Otto, Peta Sergeant, Christopher Kirby and Udo Kier
Rated: R  
Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes  
Release Date: March 10, 2012

Sometimes it takes more than a great idea to make a film work and that is certainly the case with director Timo Vuorensola's comedy/sci-fi/action parody "Iron Sky". It is difficult to imagine how such an outrageous concept as space Nazis who have been living on the dark side of the moon plotting an eventually attack on Earth could miss the mark, but that's what happened. Nobody wants to see a film that is clearly a labor of love, and took over 6 years of work to get made, turn out poorly. But when the results of such dedication is something so immensely and decisively underwhelming as this you can't help but be severely disappointed in the final product and feel just a little bit sorry for everyone involved.

Things start off promising enough with this tongue-in-cheek political satire atmosphere appropriately set with a moon landing used as this Presidential campaign gag. When we get our first glimpse of the Nazi moon base (which happens only a few minutes in), the production design impresses with some not too subtle references to the Nazi party (an entire building is in the shape of a swastika!) and the effects which were all done on a micro budget feel appropriately grand and often awe inspiring. Just as things are starting to look up we are introduced to our main protagonist, one of the American astronauts who landed on the moon who also just so happens to be black. Now, one would think that we as a civilization have moved far beyond the joke of the eccentric black man surrounded by white people (aryan's in this case), but nope.

No longer than 15 minutes go by until we are presented with the ingenious comedic decision to see what happens when you turn a black man white. Yep, this is one of those movies. One would think the premise of space Nazis invading modern day Earth would be enough material to fuel countless jokes about how dated their way of living is or ask questions such as how a member of the Nazi party would blend in with the don't-give-a-s**t mentality of the world today. Sure, the fish out of water formula isn't much better than those lame jokes about a black man learning to live as a white man, but at least it isn't as offensively lame. To be fair, that is only one aspect to what went wrong here. When we are introduced to the President, the United Nations representatives and the campaign advisers for the President, that stuff is also ill-conceived to the point of absurdity. Did everyone really have to play it so broad and on the nose? Yes, we get it, you look like Sarah Palin. Ha ha, very funny...not really though.

This is a clear cut case of too many ideas thrown into the pot for what should have been a straight forward B style action/Sci-Fi flick destined to become a cult hit. If they had played it straight and let the ridiculous concept of Nazis on the moon drive the comedy it would have been enough. The political satire isn't funny, the racial jokes are insulting and how the whole thing just feels weighed down by all of these half baked ideas transforms it into what is essentially an overlong Saturday Night Live skit, and a poor one at that. "Iron Sky" may get some brownie points for its impressive visuals (for a film of this limited budget anyway) and a final image that felt out of place with the tone of the rest of the film but still resonated, but it sadly never lives up to its potential and falls victim to trying to be more ambitious than it needed to be. "Iron Sky" should have been simple fun but instead it wanted to make a statement, which it did, its just not the statement it was going for.





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