Director: Timo Vuorensola
Starring: Julia Dietze, Peta Sergeant and Udo Kier
The main problem with Iron Sky is that the filmmakers seem to feel as if the concept is enough. Aside from a few moments they never really bring any new ideas to the table and instead proceed with a story that seems to have all its laughs rely on the fact that after an hour, you are still going to find the concept of space Nazis amusing. It never evolves or takes its concept to the best level and ironically it is at its best and wittiest, when it is taking swipes at the U.S. political system, rather than exploring the true manic and comedic potential of its unique concept.
The film opens with a U.S. ship landing on the Moon, which then brings down Sarah Palin re-election banners. It is then revealed that the spaceship contains a black model called Washington, with the entire mission purely a campaign stunt to aid Palin’s election hopes. There are even posters on earth with Palin and Washington on which proclaim, “Black to the Moon” Later on Palin uses Nazis to write her speeches and transform her campaign, welcoming an invasion due to her desire to be a wartime president. It is these ideas which are the most interesting and dangerous in the film, yet they are never explored or exploited to the level that they should. The idea of Nazis being behind a U.S. presidential campaign contains enough potential for an entire movie, yet it is one scene in this film. The fact that this film’s best comedic material rests away from its concept and in satirizing the theatre of U.S. politics made me think ahead to the upcoming Will Ferrell film “The Campaign” A film that I hope will fully explore the comedic and narrative potential behind such a basis, given that it will hopefully be that film’s main focus and not something stumbled upon, upon realization that you have nothing more to do with your space Nazis concept after about twenty minutes.
It will be interesting to see what Americans make of Iron Sky as the film contains many swipes at their policy, with at times, them coming off as bigger villains than the Nazis. Now given this film’s concept and execution it is clearly not a film asking to be taken seriously, however it, albeit briefly, does throw serious ideas towards you. At times it seemed the filmmakers didn’t know what film they wanted to make. Was it going to be a simple, silly, Nazis on the Moon B movie? or a Dr. Strangelove inspired satire? The answer from the filmmakers and fans would be that it is attempting to be and is both. However I personally felt that in trying to be both, it succeeded in neither. This film just doesn’t have the focus, discipline and consistent wit of Dr. Strangelove, yet I feel unfair comparing a film with this concept against one of the finest films ever made, however the film itself invites such analysis and in doing so pales in comparison. I know that I commonly praise films merely for the existence of ideas rather than the exploration of those ideas, however that is commonly a praise I throw to Hollywood funded, blockbuster films, many of which do not feel the need for such ideas. However when I see an independent production, with a concept such as this, I expect something a little crazier and braver.
That is this film’s problem. It is neither crazy enough with its concept, or brave enough with its ideas. This film clocks in at just under 90 minutes, however come the third act it started to feel longer than the just under 3 hours, Dark Knight Rises. This is a film, that really runs out of steam.
The film does have a couple of good gags, however on the whole this film just isn’t funny enough. It’s not funny in its own right as a legitimate comedy, nor is it so bad and self-knowingly bad, that its funny. The acting is expectedly mediocre and I really wasn’t expecting any performances of note. What must be commended however, is what the filmmakers have achieved on such a low budget. The effects, costume and overall design of the movie is surprisingly efficient given how little they had to work with. However come the third act, I feel as if the filmmakers became indulgent and were more concerned with the toys they had to play with and what they could achieve visually rather than fulfill any narrative, thematic or comedic promise.
Overall, Iron Sky it not so bad that its unwatchable. It will most likely disappoint many people looking for a guilty pleasure thrill however as the film can’t decide whether it wants to be one. Most of the writing isn’t witty or funny enough and a lot of the film is performed surprisingly straight-faced. It is nowhere near as crazy as you would expect and nowhere near as funny as you would expect on any level. The few interesting ideas it poses it rarely explores and while I liked what it was doing with its ending, its another example of the film’s inconsistency tonally and its pretensions, that come off as pretentious due to its initial goal and the fact that those ideas are merely presented rather than explored. Iron Sky fails to embrace either side of the coin, not going all the way with the ridiculousness of its concept nor going all the way with the political satire it briefly mingles with.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
Disagree with this review? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.