Got tired of the dysfunctional Flixter Facebook app. Grading movies A-F. Only movies that I find interesting, but not necessarily high quality. Some blockbusters, some interesting rarities and oddities, and occasionally some turkeys.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Iron Sky - Nazi Zeppelins from Outer Space

Iron Sky (2012)

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe a B-movie with twisted story.

Iron Sky is a low budget steam punk (or rather Diesel punk) movie meets Star Trek the Next Generation, with a mother of all conspiracy theories storyline: Nazis on the dark side of the moon tries to take over the Earth.

It actually works. It’s fresh and different. It's one of those movies that you either love or just don’t understand.

It’s funny, but not a laugh-out-loud movie (tho some scenes are really funny). The humor and irony is both extremely obvious and pleasantly free from political correctness, and also surprisingly subtle at the same time. And the references these camp movies “must have” are well thought.*)

Iron Sky also has a surprisingly large amount of social criticism. Everything that is on screen is a target and being mocked. The Nazis are bad funny stereotypes, but the U.N. appears as narrow-minded as them. The US President quickly takes up the Nazi rhetoric when she realizes they can help her to be re-elected. (It’s a she.) And at times it seems that the Nazis, ridiculous as they may be, have more moral standards than the representatives of democracy.

The international cast and that a large part of the dialogue being held in German, brings credibility to the movie where it's needed. It surely works better to hear Nazis speaking German than English.

Being a low budget film it is quite surprising how good the movie technically is. The sound effects and the visuals are almost indistinguishable from most Hollywood CGI. The space battle at the end is first class.

Here and there you can see that the production is not world class, and some scenes could have been trimmed a bit. But that’s minor comments. You shouldn’t forget the context. Director Timo Vuorensola managed to pull through 90 % of a Hollywood blockbuster, with 5 % of the usual budget of a mindless action picture like Battleship. (Iron Sky 10 MUSD, Battleship 200 MUSD.) And Iron Sky is a way more interesting movie.

The wealth of ideas and inventiveness make Iron Sky an efficiently disrespectful, anarchistic comedy that never shies away from silly jokes.

Extra point for an unexpected ending.

Advisory -- after you have seen the movie, from now on, every time you pick up an iPhone you will hear inside your head "That is... not a computer!"

Rate: A

*) I found references to Downfall, Dr Strangelove, THX 1138, Star Wars, Apocalypse Now, Star Trek The Next Generation and Leni Riefenstahl's heroic and larger-than-life esthetic program is often quoted and ridiculed.

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