Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Iron Sky (2012) Movie Review

It is the year 2018, and a strangely familiar looking President Of The United States has put into motion a manned space mission with strangely racial overtones in hopes of clinching a second term. How little she knows that what the astronauts would discover a most shocking secret hiding on the dark side of the moon. The last remnants of the German Nazi party have made the realm their refuge, and are near ready to unleash an assault the likes the planet has never seen with the help of their newly captured african american spaceman. NO sooner does this all sound like the drunken, or even high late night political joking of the hopelessly disconnected persuasion that Timo Vuorensola's long-delayed Iron Sky has unleashed upon the earth. A kind of singular experience that could even give the central film's plot of a rejuvenated Nazi party from space a run for its money. It's the kind of film one threatens to make as some form of cruel humor, only noone ever expects to see actually made.

As described, the Nazis, led by and large by eugenically created future Fuhrer, Klaus Adler, take their newly acquired black male model, James Washington from what remained of his decimated ship and crew in order to best find a means of wreaking revenge upon the people of earth on a return campaign to save it from itself. Along for the ride is Adler's genetically engineered mate-to-be, and schoolteacher, Renate Richter whom apparently carries with her a greater amount of knowledge and curiosity about the people of said celestial body. Add this to problems on the ground as the President's aide, Vivian Wagner takes in the clueless duo and soon applies their ideology into the campaign platform- to astonishing reception. Oh, and the Nazis..They turned Washington white..

Okay. I was hoping to not go a certain route while writing this, but as these words come rolling off in hopes of giving this film some manner of fair shake, something deep inside simply will not allow this to happen. Iron Sky is not the kind of movie one simply reviews, it is the kind of miracle project that despite the years of hardship and fortune that led to it finally becoming a reality, that makes one wonder how in the nine hells did anyone see this as a feather in their cap. Having initially seen the demo trailer (yes, the original trailer made in hopes of getting funding is reminiscent of a game intro) a part of me was hoping for an at least somewhat funny and clever piece of comic schlock. What one gets, is one obvious gag stretched beyond humor, punctuated by an uncomfortable amount of ignorance about a great many things, the world included. One doesn't enjoy Iron Sky, one endures it.

And it's not as if there weren't some truly cool visual things at work here. For the budget, this Finnish/Australian/German production occasionally displays some surprisingly unique and inspired design work for the space Nazi trappings, ships and costumes. It's just too bad none of it is in service of something resembling a functioning motion picture. One quickly gets the impression that this was largely conceived with enough notes for an industrial music video, and all the while the feature budget was waiting in the wings, noone bothered to flesh out the details of the script story. The entire thing is a mad, inconsistent jumble littered with half-jokes, and crude stereotypes often pointing their "comedic" barbs at the Bush/Cheney administration, which is already dated enough, and would fail to register as humor even if the writing were better. And let's not get any deeper into the character of Washington and the material actor, Christopher Kirby is given. I'd probably be deeply offended if the film as a whole wasn't so ineptly constructed and performed. One might even go so far as to wonder if the writer has ever even met an American, let alone a black one.

It's that bad.

So what else can I possibly say about this fiasco? Perhaps there is just enough room here to say that it hurts knowing that industrial music favorites, Laibach provided the musical score. As fun and Wanger-esque as it all is, it is so sad to see such an incredible group of artists wasted on this catastrophe. In a time when VFX studios are having a bit of a rough patch stateside, it pains to know that stuff like this made it out of the gate. So many creatives deserve a much better stage. This is worse than being laid off.

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