Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
|Featuring:||Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Casey Affleck, Bai Ling|
|Producer:||Jon Avnet, Sadie Frost, Jude Law, Marsha Oglesby|
“Join the Resistance”
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Famous scientists around the world have mysteriously disappeared and Chronicle reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) along with ace aviator Sky Captain (Jude Law) are on the investigation. Risking their lives as they travel to exotic places around world, can the fearless duo stop Dr. Totenkopf, the evil mastermind behind a plot to destroy the Earth? Aided by Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), commander of an all-female amphibious squadron, and technical genius Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), Polly and Sky Captain may be our planet’s only hope.”
Sitting in the front row with a bag of popcorn on his lap, the young boy is unable to eat. He sits, eyes wide with wonder, as he literally experiences our hero storming through the villain’s evil snare, rescuing the lovely girl reporter and saving all mankind from extinction. Now, that’s entertainment!
“Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow” is a beautiful, eerily nostalgic glide through the wonderland of true Saturday afternoon matinee serial adventure. Even if you were way too young to have been a part of this glorious childhood ritual of days gone by, you will know exactly how it felt to be riveted in your theater seat as the valiant Sky Captain (Jude Law at his swash-buckling best) rescues Polly Perkins (a determined, courageous Gwyneth Paltrow) and the rest of the world from the evil Dr. Totenkopf (played by Laurence Olivier, who though he died in 1989 is seen here through old shots recycled into this new film) the mysterious mastermind behind a plot to destroy the Earth.
No hero is an island and Sky Captain, or Joe as his close friends like to call him, is aided by his best pals Dex (Giovanni Ribisi who just happens to be a technical genius) and beautiful Frankie Cook (an absolutely competent eye-patched Angelina Jolie) who is the commander of an all female squadron of amphibious fighters. The Captain has a secret “thing” for iron willed reporter Polly, and she for him, but much to the audience’s delight neither one seems to know it. They banter back and forth through the movie as in the best of the rat-a-tat dialogue between male and female in classics like “The Front Page” of 1940.
New York is being bombarded by mysterious giant robots and it seems the English, French and German population has a few mysterious killer robots of their own. The world puts a call out for Sky Captain to eradicate them of these evil Art Deco colossus! Meanwhile the world’s top scientists have been disappearing and Polly’s nose for news has found they are all from a secret circle pulled together before World War II known as “Unit 11.”
Polly and Sky Captain track down a Dr. Jennings who has tipped off Polly that he will be the next to go. They wind up in his “Frankenstein-esque” office/lab only to find he is dead and an equally mysterious dragon-lady lurking around the file cabinets. While our hero fights off this black capped predator, Polly pockets a couple of sinister looking vials and later is caught red handed with them and is told if the wicked Dr. Totenkopf gets his hands on them, the countdown to the end of the world will begin! …And, of course, these strange vials do end up in Dr. Totenkopf’s hands.
Golly jeepers! The plot thickens when New York is again besieged by large silver bird-robots and while Sky Captain and Polly are fighting them off in the Captain’s gadget laden fighter plane, Dex is kidnapped by menacing spaghetti armed robots.
Through exciting air fight and undersea battle sequences with amphibious robots, through thrilling pitfalls and twists, Sky Captain, Frankie, Dex and of course newswoman Polly solve the mystery, uncover Dr. Totenkopf’s hidden city, and with just 10 minutes left on the ticking clock, save the remaining scientists and the entire world!
The buzz is that writer/director Kerry Conrad spent 10 years creating this film on his computer. I just hope it won’t take him that long to do a sequel!
The PG rating is appropriate. I would caution parents that this film is for kids 10 and up. Little ones may be scared by the giant robots and fast paced, stylized violence of the fighter sequences. Even though the robots of all kinds are all sci-fi type Art Deco, young minds will not be able to differentiate between real and computer generated. There is only one utterance of “da**” in this film and all other mild language is of the “Shazaam” type explicative of the 1930 and 1940 serial adventures. This movie remained innocent and squeaky clean with no nudity or sex. There are references to Moses and the animals going into the arc two-by-two. The vials that are a key factor in the evil Dr.’s destruction of the world are called an “Adam and Eve” type of concoction stewed up by the scientists, against their will of course. I didn’t find these references repulsive, as the characters viewed this as a sick dream of the evil Dr. Totenkopf’s and righted all wrongs in the end, giving the respect back to God and us as His creation that no man has the right to tamper with.
Christian themes abound, as is common of these idealized versions of sci-fi fantasies of the 1930’s. The hero is gallant and above any kind of unrighteous act. He treats women with awe and respect. The friendships go beyond helping each other out to willing to give their lives for one another. There is a definite difference between evil and good, which is refreshing in this day of super heroes who are just as evil as the bad guy, blurring the line between good and bad. I was just thrilled to see a hero that can be used as a modern day role model for young and old alike, even though Kerry Conrad had to go back in time to retrieve him.
“Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow” was done in luscious, dreamy, sepia toned cinematography that is reminiscent of “The Day The Earth Stood Still” mixed with a little of “The Colossus of New York” and the dreamy glowing camera work of “Shanghai Express.” The actors were right on the money for the type of characters they portrayed. The musical score was breathtaking the action heart stopping. This beautifully crafted adventure had it all. We defied the end of the world, found romance, laughed in the face of danger and did it all in less than two hours. It wowed me completely!
Violence: Moderate Profanity: Minor Sex/Nudity: None