September 28, 2004

Amateur Movie Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Make that Sky Captain and the Retro-World of Tomorrow, thank you. We went and saw this movie over the weekend. I liked it, she didn’t. Sky Captain is at heart a very goofy movie, a mix of old Republic Serials, with a generous helping of the animated Superman movies. The plot is very basic: giant mysterious robots wreak havoc on the major cities of the world, and only our dashing, square-jawed hero, Sky Captain Joe (Jude Law) Sullivan can save the day. His compatriots are his ex-girlfriend Polly (Gwyneth Paltrow) Perkins, a beautiful and plucky girl reporter who is so obviously based on Lois Lane it should end up part of the Simon and Siegel lawsuit. Sky Captain also has the requisite brilliant but slightly addled sidekick; his name is Dex, played by Giovanni Ribisi. Equally important is the Other Woman, in this case the mysterious Francesca Cook. As with the old serials, Frankie, played by Angelina Jolie, is sexier, more interesting, and a lot more helpful than her rival is. This movie isn’t subtle either; everything Polly wears is earth toned and demure. Frankie has an eyepatch and skintight, dominatrix-like black leather.

We have a villain too, though not much of one. Our villain is a mysterious German scientist, missing since the closing days of WWI, named Totenkopf. He is very mysterious, not even showing up until the very end, and even that is a surprise that just about everyone over 10 will figure out. Everything about this movie is easy to figure out for that matter. The plot is very thin, and the dialogue is wooden at times, but good at others. The casting is fine, though Law and Paltrow sometimes show a hesitancy that can probably be attributed to the fact that neither has done any previous blue-screen work. The supporting players fare much better. Ribisi has already shown himself the best character actor of his generation and Angelina Jolie is so much better when she forgets to be a movie star and stops pretending to be Ashley Judd.

So, after all this, what did I think of the movie? I loved it. Look, it takes a serious amount of suspension of disbelief to enjoy Sky Captain, but if you can, its great fun. The action is well choreographed, and the overall look of the film is flawless, an impressive update of a long forgotten genre.

Posted by Frinklin at September 28, 2004 05:32 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?