Iron Sky abandons any pretense of realism by the end of the first scene, and that’s a wise choice for a movie about a Fourth Reich of Nazis invading from the moon. Campiness is one of the few things the movie gets right. The things it gets wrong will make up the bulk of this review, disappointing since this novel premise unearthed some elements that could have been fine-tuned into the building blocks of a decent film.
Our protagonist, James Washington, is a black astronaut captured by the moon-Nazis and turned white with a chemical called “albinus.” The movie’s first order of business it to piss away an opportunity to confront cloystered Nazi extremists with an educated black man by having a god damn astronaut say “y’all must be trippin’.” I know that asking for thoughtful themes about race in Iron Sky is too much, but a man who ought to know rocket science talking like he just stepped out of The Friday After Next doesn’t even make sense. As a result of all this, Washington is a caricature, and a boring one at that.
Iron Sky proudly disregards the boundary between clever and stupid. That would be all well and good if it could just find something to latch on to. It milks the “B-horror” thing for a while, then occupies itself making half baked moral and political statements before suddenly attempting to become a Sci-Fi epic. In a way, it’s impressive. A movie like this could just coast off of its premise for ninety minutes, but Iron Sky keeps busy. It never quite lets you know where it’s going, but unfortunately it never takes the viewer anywhere terribly interesting either.
The best thing in this movie: Julia Dietze. She plays a heartbreakingly optimistic young Nazi, born and raised on the moon and unaware of the Reich’s crimes against humanity. She’s also strikingly beautiful. The second best thing is the American president, an explicit analogue for Sarah Palin. It’s in her scenes that the movie’s interest in Nazi and World War II era propaganda rears its head. The film’s brief foray into public relations and wartime iconography is almost like a poorly developed version in what we saw in act two of Captain America.
I’m not sure exactly what Iron Sky set out to accomplish. It dabbles in political satire and over the top action, but whatever it was hoping to highlight got tangled up in the film’s indecisiveness. Near the end of the movie, Washington grabs a mad German scientist and seethes “hey quack, remember me? The moon spook you turned into a snowflake?” So yeah, you can’t knock Iron Sky for lack of effort, or enthusiasm for that matter. It’s best to just go after it for everything else. A sequel and a prequel are currently in the works.
Prometheus in 2.