Timo Vuorensola | 89 mins | streaming | 2.35:1 | Finland, Germany & Australia / English & German | 15 / R
Period sci-fi comedy/action/adventure Iron Sky is the 21st century answer to Snakes on a Plane: the worldwide internet geek community got hold of the idea/trailer for a film about Nazis on the moon coming back to Earth, and somehow pushed the concept into being via crowdfunding and a general sense of “doesn’t that sound cool?” Then, again like Snakes on a Plane, no one seemed to actually like it.
Well, I’m going to be a bit of a dissenting voice, because I thought Iron Sky was quite fun. It’s by no means perfect, with some clunky dialogue, weak acting, blatant virtual sets, thuddingly obvious satire, and so on (for more crushing criticism, see the ghost of 82’s review)… but, equally, it’s a low-budget SF comedy — you have to admire some of its ambition.
If you take the rotten dialogue and variable performances to be part of the intentional humour (and, in some cases, I think it is), then they’re less objectionable. The CGI is no worse than we’ve seen in some major productions down the years (for various reasons it brought to mind Sky Captain). Its attacks on a Palin-esque US President are remarkably untimely now she seems to have been ignored even in her own country, but at least it does place the US and their foreign policy attitudes in its sights — the advantage of it being a foreign production, because I’m sure if it was US-made they’d be the gung-ho spotless heroes defeating that Natzees for a second time.
Throw in a moderately witty spoof of the Downfall-based Hitler YouTube meme, and moderately audacious elements like the Nazis turning a black astronaut white as part of their new attitude to racial purity, and you have a film that is moderately successful on its own terms.
It’s brain-in-neutral entertainment, certainly, but there are worse examples of that. Snakes on a Plane, for instance. And if you really need convincing, just imagine how Michael Bay would’ve treated this concept: exactly the same, but without the awareness of it all being silly.