Director: Kerry Conran
Stars out of 10: 7.5
The correct title for the film should be Sky Captain & the World of where lipstick never runs out, heroes are heroes, villains are dead and where 1 minute equals to 5. Anyway, visual-wise it is impressive. It is set in an imaginary 1939 and has a pulpy feel to it. Sky Captain is a retro-future film, so that means a lot of CGI and Blue Screen was put into it, and while some age correctly, even impressively, there are some which don’t, and Sky Captain is the latter. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an entertaining flick. It remained an impressive, authentic feature and really gave you that 30’s feel and, believe it or not, is times better than Captain America: First Avenger, despite the fact that 7 years separate these two movies.
Just like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen gathered all famous literature characters and bought them to one universe, Sky Captain did the same with different genres. You get action, sci-fi, drama, romance, old Indy--style moments, Lone Ranger moments and several influences from cyberpunk and steampunk. It is not unusual if you’re reminded of H.G. Welles, H.P. Lovecraft, Rocketeer, Star Wars, Star Trek, Iron Giant and even War of the Worlds and Bioshock. I’m sure you can add to the list but you can’t deny the fact that Sky Captain is a fascinating film. The presentation is actually more believable than most of the sci-fi films of its time and of the past 5 years.
Changing tracks, story-wise the film was good. Nothing extraordinary, but it did have an interesting twist at the end, though. The script-writing was good, too. They managed to make authoritative dialogues authoritative and not circus-like or anything. Most of the time it was believable and it was also filled with quite-few pop-culture references; Who else loved the “Is it safe?” part?
Unfortunately, the bulb was flickering in the performance department. Jude Law is an actor who I see less but what I see I don’t feel the urge to complain / rant. He has that cool-as-a-cucumber attitude to him and can play heroes almost flawlessly. He was great as usual but it was Gwyneth Paltrow that had me worried. As much as I like her, this was her most wooden, flat-as-a-hedgehog-run-over-by-a-Reliant performance she has ever given. He line delivery was so off and so forced that it felt as if she were talking in a TV commercial. In short, this is how Megan Fox would’ve acted had she been in Sky Captain. Harsh? Yes! The truth? Unfortunately, also yes. Giovanni Ribisi was a good surprise, though. He is an actor to whom I never connected. Whenever I see him on-screen I go like, “Well, there’s Giovanni. Now I’m gonna get distracted by another actor / actress”, and 100% of the time I’m right. Not to say he is a bad actor, far from it, but he never really made a strong impression on me. Anyway, I liked his performance, it was in league with the film. If Paltrow was a missed arrow, then Angelina Jolie was a disaster, akin to someone who photobombs. Nobody likes a photobomber, they’re highly unwelcome. Same case here. Jolie was almost a joke. She was totally mis-cast. Not one of my favourite performances from her I must say.
In conclusion, visual-wise the film is impressive, an achievement that will be called in as a great example in the near future. Performance-wise, however, not enough strong shoulders were bought in but it is still going in my greatest movies list despite the quite-bearable setbacks. It would be like chucking a Lamborghini because of a broken radio. Oh, no!