Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Iron Sky (2012)

I'm glad to follow my Django Unchained review with Iron Sky; they are two films made with a similar idea in mind, but with completely different execution. The concept is that, during WWII, the Nazi's sent a colonizing fleet to the dark side of the moon, and in 2018, they're returning to conquer Earth. Like something Tarantino would make, it nods to the rather ridiculous exploitation films of the 1970s and (hopefully) makes from that a fun, watchable film. The idea came from co-writer Jarmo Puskala, who, apparently, had a dream about Nazis on the moon. He shared the idea with fellow Finn and director Timo Vuorensola in (fittingly, for Scandinavians) a sauna. Vuorensola agreed he'd direct the movie only if they could get 70s exploitation icon Udo Kier on board to star. For a number of years, the duo shopped around with a trailer of a film which didn't yet exist attempting to get financing for it. In the end, about 10% of the film's financing came from fans, Udo Kier did indeed sign up for a role, and Iron Sky was made.

I say it has a completely different execution compared to Django because where Tarantino succeeds is in taking the feeling, the look, the music, the sound and the tropes of old exploitation films, but not the plot. While 'Nazi's from the Moon Attack' necessarily has a 70s exploitation film plot just from the inception, there just isn't enough depth of character to pull it off. Udo Kier is great in his role, although he doesn't get much screen time. Christopher Kirby hams it up, and not in a good way; any time he is on screen, I quickly lose interest. The action set pieces are predictable and, at times a little boring, and the dialogue lacks creativity.

Where the film finds some success is in the gags about current world politics. The Sarah Palin expy president, played by Stephanie Paul has her moments, but is altogether too heavy-handed. In a movie about space Nazi's, the trick really should have been subtly in other areas. I'm disappointed in Iron Sky more than anything because, with better execution, we could have had a romping good cult classic of sci-fi comedy action. Instead, it's a rather bland and slightly immature action flick based on a bizarre concept, and will not stand the test of time.

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