Saturday, May 25, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Iron Sky (2012) *

R, 93 min.
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Writers: Timo Vuorensola, Michael Kalesniko, Jarmo Puskala, Johanna Sinisalo
Starring: Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby, Götz Otto, Udo Kier, Peta Sergeant, Stephanie Paul, Tilo Prückner, Michael Cullen

Yesterday I criticized the Boy Scouts for perpetuating the culture of fear that surrounds homosexuality in this country. Today I will look at a film that examines an organization that is the ultimate extension of such a culture of fear, the Nazis. Again, the movie I’ve chosen is not a good one. Like the scouting movie, it is filled with ideas that don’t have the execution behind them to deserve them.

First, let’s start with the title. “Iron Sky”. What the hell does that even mean? It has little to do with the film’s story. I suppose at one point the space surrounding the Earth is filled with iron in an invasion of the Earth launched by the Fourth Reich, which has been hanging out on the dark side of the moon since 1945. Wouldn’t “Space Nazis from the Moon” have made a much better title?

That’s the heart of the movie’s problem right there. It doesn’t know whether it wants to be a tribute to b-genre movies, a satire about world politics, or a serious science fiction fantasy. I suppose it never tries too hard to be serious, but its production design and effects are straight out of a big budget action flick that would never know it had its tongue placed squarely in its cheek.

The movie skewers American politics by placing a Sarah Palin look alike in the position of POTUS and depicting how American politics are bought and sold like a reality program for the American public with wars and moon missions existing only to boost poll numbers. There’s some good stuff here, actually. For some reason, however, the POTUS campaign manager is handled by an actress who seems to thinks she’s auditioning for the plot of a soft-core porn flick, with all her actions serving the progress towards a teasing sex scene rather than the plot itself. Don’t read this wrong, however, this film isn’t soft-core porn. This one actress and some of the costume designer just want you to think it is.

There is potential here for a good bad b-flick. There’s some good Mystery Science Theater 3000 material here, but the filmmakers don’t seem to think they’re aiming that low. Even some of the film’s loftier ideas are good; they just don’t belong in this movie.

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