Iron Sky movie review
There certainly some absurd ideas right now for movies. And we’re not talking about the lame brains that thought that What To Expect When You’re Expecting would actually be plausible for audiences. We mean ideas that we probably wouldn’t have imagined had we actually put our brain to the test – like space Nazis. Yep, Nazis that have actually camped out on the dark side of the moon, just waiting for their chance to strike back at the Earth. That’s the basis behind Iron Sky, a film by Finnish director Timo Vuorensola that doesn’t exactly fire on all cylinders like most silly sci-fi affairs, but still delivers a better product than expected from the idea.
The film’s events kick off when a Lunar Lander, packed with political banners, lands just a little too closely for its own good towards a rebuilt Nazi base. After dispatching of the main pilot and destroying the Lander, the soldiers pick up James Washington (Christopher Kirby), a rookie pilot merely sent on the mission to add ethnicity, rather than knowledge. Seeing this as a sign that the Earth might have weakened, Klaus Adler (Gotz Otto) decides to scout ahead, seeking out iPhones and iPads to power a “secret weapon” that could turn the tide in the Nazi’s favor. Tagging along for the ride is Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), a schoolteacher whose learning tools are inspired by a clip from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the President of the United States, a Sarah Palin-type (Stephanie Paul) seeking re-election, is demanding action from her advisor (Peta Sergeant). Ironically, she crosses Adler’s path, and a plan is put into motion for the Nazis to attack. That is, unless Renate, undergoing a change of heart and James, changed into an albino (it’s part of the Nazi plan of conversion), can do something about it.
Pacing doesn’t exactly do Iron Sky any favors. It moves along at a swift 92 minutes, but towards the end it does lean a little bit heavily on its political message, rather than sticking to the campy B-grade tone that most of the movie relies on.
That said, there are still plenty of enjoyable camp moments that sink in over the course of the film. The President, as expected, acts with a great deal of over-enthusiasm, especially when she embraces the idea of a possible space Nazi invasion. It’s also funny to see James work his way through the moon base, with a loudspeaker warning how he’s “unarmed but possibly angry”. And be sure to keep an eye out for a scene that imitates the now infamous YouTube Hitler clips, complete with expletives.
Also, it’s worth noting that Iron Sky, a low budget piece compared to most Hollywood flicks, actually boasts some great special effects. The space battles between the Nazi armada and Earth’s best forces are a sight to watch, and once the bad guys unveil their big weapon – an enormous flying saucer that looks like a leftover from Mars Attacks! – it’s a sight to behold. This movie won’t replace Independence Day, by any means, but for a piece of SyFy-inspired camp, it’s better than most.
A couple of Iron Sky’s performances fall flat on a camp level. Udo Kier, playing Adler’s superior Wolfgang, isn’t really given enough to do to spread around his acting chops, and Kirby has too many jokes to really consider him a quality good guy, especially midway through the film. That said, Paul does nail down the Palin tone almost perfectly (watching her pep talk the commander of a battleship named after George W. Bush is humorous) and Dietze is both sexy and worthwhile in her role. It’s a fair balance
Iron Sky probably won't be considered amongst sci-fi's best, as its tone, again, loses its way towards its conclusion. That said, it’s a fun Friday night flick than stretches its idea out better than most. And that’s more than we could say for What To Expect When You’re Expecting, that’s for damn sure.