Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: Iron Sky (2012)

It is 2018. An American module is landing on the moon, organised as both a PR stunt for the President (Stephanie Paul) and a secret mission to see if there are any readings for a new fuel, Helium 3. It's not long before the two man crew have stumbled on a hidden Nazi base, one is immediately killed, the other taken prisoner. It turns out this astronaut is another US stunt, him being a black model, James Washington (Christopher Kirkby) sent along just to improve the perception of the mission. Now, of course the Nazis - who arrived on the moon in 1945 and have since been building up their forces and arsenal in preparation of the rise of a Fourth Reich - don't take the sudden appearance of a coloured guy too well.

Renete (Julia Deitze) is the daughter of the base's Einstein lookalike chief scientist (Tilo Prückner), and teaches the children Earth Studies; which includes using Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator as an example of how great and respected Hitler was. To them, this is only a short film (basically just the famous section with the Hitler character playing with an inflatable globe) - later she will see the full 2hour version and be horrified that it actually is mocking the Fuhrer. Wolfgang (Udo Kier) is the Nazi's leader, and he sends Klaus (Götz Otto) and the newly whitened Washington back down to Earth to get supplies of the new fangled telephone computers (mobiles to you and me) to power their equipment, the scientist comes up with a cable to connect the tiny phone to their enormous machinery "I call this Universal Systematic Binding. USB for short". You see, despite their obvious advances - building on the moon, etc.. the technology does rely on gears, chains, dials and a computer the size of a room.

Things don't go to plan on the mission to Earth, Renete stowing away being one, but when they manage to have an audience with the President herself (a very thinly veiled version of Sarah Palin), Renete's rousing speech about her beloved Reich's plans for a new world order are taken and used as her own. The two Nazi's then become PR workers for the White House, until Wolfgang re-appears and attempts retribution.

A full scale Nazi invasion of Earth is of course, inevitable, with their mix of advanced and steam punk weaponry - and that includes airships, I'm pleased to note - and their ultimate weapon, meteorites/ With the United Nations having full scale nuclear disarmament, how will we retaliate?
Iron Sky has had a chequered and troubled history, to the point where we were seriously wondering if it would ever see the light of day. Six years in the making, and partly funded by fan donations, as well as several different countries. Does this audacious and potentially offensive film deliver? The simple answer is yes. And in spades. Director Timo Vurensola has crafted a film in which for just under 90mins (approx 10mins of the running time are the film's end credits, there are so many FX houses and people to thank and mention) the pace does not let up. Part sci-fi, part war and all comedy, the films takes swipes at areas of society. The Americans come off worse than the Nazis, but their are no punches pulled. The action is straight out of the Saturday morning serials, zinging along with one set piece after another, and the satire is pure Dr Stranglove. While not all the gags are hilarious, the film is certainly fun, and it flies by so fast you could easily sit through it again straight away and catch any you may have missed. The special effects are incredibly impressive considering the budget, again, some work better than others, with green screen being used for most if not all of the moon base interiors.
If you have not been lucky enough to catch the film on it's limited UK cinema run, don't miss it on DVD.
9 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment