Monday, 4 June 2012

Iron Sky: a review

Those of us who watched the famous Star Wreck have long been looking forward to this even crazier offering from the same folk. Yes, you're going to see Moon Nazis returning to Earth in order to have their revenge. I shall avoid detailed spoilers. They fled Earth in 1945 and built a base on the dark side of the Moon. I greatly enjoyed this flick. The CGI is very good, especially considering their meagre budget. That sentence means what it says. It doesn't mean, "They did the best they could." It means they did a great job and I'm not entirely sure how, given what Hollywood films spend on CGI! Inarguably, when you have Space Nazis with flying saucers and armour-clad space zeppelins, you need either great models or great CGI. They have the latter. The look of the film is in all respects great.

But what of the script, direction and acting? Well, let's get the bad news out of the way first. If you like or feel sympathetic toward Sarah Palin, you will be very angry with the script, as Stephanie Paul's unnamed President of the United States is a Palin parody. If you feel America is cruelly misrepresented by the media, you will get so angry with the film that you will miss the ending. If you like your films stuffed with big names, again you're in trouble. The only chap I recognise is the delightful Udo Kier, who plays a post-Hitlerian Mondfuehrer (Moon Fuehrer) with restrained glee. If you are no fan of camp humour, then why in Heaven's name are you watching a film about Moon Nazis with Flying Saucers? Get off out of it, as they say down south! The only real question mark I have in my mind is that the film's mad scientist closely resembles Albert Einstein - but he is the stereotypical German scientist, despite his thoroughly anti-Nazi politics. That sums up the problems that some viewers will have.

The benefits are multitudinous. For you visual fans, Julia Dietze, Götz Otto, Christopher Kirby and Monika Gossmann are beloved of the camera. Really, they look great. More importantly than pretty actors and actresses, the script is wide-ranging in its satirical scorn. America and Palin are far from the only targets. I got a bit of a kick out of the name of a British spaceship both because it was a stereotypical name and because the odds against us having a spaceship in 2018 (when the film begins) are so long you could put them on end and be able to see Russia from here in Cheshire. There's an off-the-cuff joke about North Korea that goes down nicely, and a very well done skewering of the fashion industry. That becomes even more pointed when you think about Hugo Boss' involvement with the Nazis.

I mentioned above those folk who feel America is too hard done by in terms of international public opinion. They will fail to see the message in the subsequent part of the film: they will perceive an unfair suggestion that Sarah Palin is a Nazi - weird as that perception might sound to those of you who have seen the film. The actual message isn't that at all. It's a satire of advertising, and the foolishness and gullibility of both politicians and the public. The messages of the film are that greed, a desire for revenge and bigotry are all potentially devastating on a personal level and in a wider sense. We all know that, and one of the ways to ensure we act appropriately is to remind ourselves. This is a very amusing film which clothes some shockingly worthwhile messages in comic clothing that we may better learn them. Plus, it has pretty people in funky clothes and machines. I don't tend to rate films on any particular basis, but I guess I have to if I write a whole blog entry about one! So let's say it's 8 stars out of 10 on a scale where Sunset Boulevard is a 10 and Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1.5. I'm sure I've seen worse flicks than Plan 9, but none come to mind right now. So check out Iron Sky, folks, if you like your satire, dieselpunk, pretty actors and actresses!

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