Sunday, January 27, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Sky (2012) -- Overall Rating 2.5 / 5

Starring Julia Dietze & Götz Otto
Directed by Timo Vuorensola
Rated R

Story: 2 / 5
Direction: 2 / 5
Acting: 2 / 5
Visual: 4 / 5
Overall Rating: 2.5 / 5
Explanation of rating categories appears at the bottom of each review posting.
You might be mistaken in thinking Iron Sky is a tongue in cheek comedy about how Nazi’s escaped to the moon at the end of the Second World War and 70+ years later are planning to launch an invasion to take back the Earth. You would be wrong. Iron Sky is just another “America is so stupid, they’re the new Nazis!” film.

The movie opens with a lunar landing in 2018, which is apparently nothing but a popularity gimmick to get Sarah Palin reelected. No, the president’s name isn’t actually Sarah Palin, but that’s who it is. Our astronauts are an unseen white man, who appears to be an actual astronaut, but is killed moments after landing, and his partner, a racial stereotype black man who the Moon Nazis capture. I knew I was in for a special film when the black man’s first few lines of dialogue are all jive.

“Man, y’all be trippin!” Because that’s how negroes talk. Are you amused yet? Pass the watermelon and fried chicken, I iz hungry!

The film is a jumbled mess, an amateur effort with exceptional work on visuals, the films only merit. All of the actors look totally out of place, not at all sincere. It felt more like a Saturday Night Live sketch or a Funny or Die short. No, that’s not true. That’s an insult to the acting on Saturday Night Live. And I hate Saturday Night Live.

It may be confusing that I rated this so highly on visuals, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey so low, but remember it’s all relative. The Hobbit had a 180 million dollar budget but it sure didn’t show. These guys made an entire movie that looks amazing on a 7 million euro budget, a third of Tom Cruise’s average salary.

Would I recommend this film? Maybe, if you’re not cognizant of racism like me, you think blacks are silly degenerate jive talking sub-humans, and Americans are all bad, you’ll love it. This is right up your alley. Oh and I would totally bang the Nazi chick. Maybe I should up my rating for the acting?

That’s about where this review should end, but now I have to rant about all the stuff that bothered me. Spoilers ahead, so stop reading if you intend on seeing this at some point.

The movie isn’t about how the Nazi’s got to the moon and got all of this amazing technology, so I give it a pass for not explaining all of that, however they don’t explain why none of the Apollo missions that went to the moon saw this base. I understand that it was on the dark side of the moon, but anyone with a brain knows that the lunar orbiters, well… orbited the moon and would have seen it. I would suggest that in the film’s logic of the United States being incompetent fascist liars; that the moon landings were faked, but there is a reference to them later.

The movie has an inexplicable parody of the now infamous Hitler rant scene from Der Untergang. The second the woman goes to remove her glasses and her hand is shaking I knew what they were going for. While I’m sure the intent is just to parody that scene, it is a film about Nazi’s after all, the character going into the rant is Sarah Palin’s campaign advisor. By association you’re saying she is Hitler or a Nazi like character. And given the later events of the film this is just the first of many allusions that The United States is the new Reich.

When the Moon Nazis launch their invasion Sarah Palin reveals that she has built a space warship. The U.S.S. George W. Bush (Get it? Because he was a bad president European idiots remember and don’t like). This angers the international community because we’re not supposed to be building space warships. But as the American ship is about to be overcome the international community shows up with their space warships, much to Sarah Palin’s chagrin. This is of course because she's stupid, and American, and we don't accept help from others and think we can police the world (and now space) on our own. I want to point out there is a fantastic joke in this scene that Finns will find extra funny. It’s genuine, well intended, political humor… unlike the rest of the film.

So why not make racial stereotype jokes about the rest of the nations fighting the Moon Nazis now? The Japanese ship should ram other ships. The Russians shouldn't have bone big sophisticated ship, but thousands of cheaply made, disposable ships that they sacrifice by the thousands to take down one Nazi ship. The British ship should just follow the American ship and blow up the already on fire and defenseless Nazi ships. I don’t think there was a French ship, because that makes sense they’re all cowards! See what I did there? Hilarious, right?

The crazy campaign advisor chick (by the way all of the crazy people in this movie are women… funny the Finns have such an amazing record of equality of the sexes, but I guess the film maker doesn't share his countrymen’s opinion of the fairer sex) is the captain of the American space warship and decides to nuke the Nazi moon base. The crew says “But, there are women and children down there.” She says she doesn't care, the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists and orders them to fire the nukes, they comply, women and children are killed. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this one character (who is crazy because she has a vagina) wanting to do something rash, but the fact her crew goes along with it is insulting. Having the crew resist her, and she overcomes them and “pushes the button” saves that scene. Instead the filmmakers imply that all Americans are bloodthirsty monsters that don’t care about civilian casualties.

I’m not going to make an excuse for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, but the reason they went on for over a decade is because of our policy of not indiscriminately killing civilians. If the goal was to just level those countries we could have done that in a weekend, but we didn't. We pissed around for ten years because we still follow “the rules” and don’t just fire rockets into buildings on a whim. Civilians have been killed, yes. They’re being killed right now in these absurd drone strikes, but again they’re not indiscriminate attacks. There is a target of military importance that needs to be eliminated and some civilians happen to be nearby. There is a vast difference between this type of strike and “Well, Kabul has some terrorists in it… so let’s carpet bomb the place into the stone age.”

After the nuking they find there’s Helium 3 stored up in the Nazi base. Sarah Palin declares that the US placed their flag on the moon and therefore the moon is US soil so we have rights to all of its resources. This is true, because you remember Neil Armstrong’s famous first words?

“It’s one small step for me and one giant leap for the United States of America. Suck it, everyone else!”

If you’re some Euro snob or an American leftist fool who believes whatever anti-American propaganda that gets shit out these days you might go “Yeah! Americans are just like the Nazis!” But I have some news for you.

The number of people killed by United States military action in the last 240 years doesn't even come close to the destruction wrought by the Nazis in less than a 10 year period. And might I remind you that the United States sacrificed over 500,000 of its sons to fight wars that Europeans started and couldn't finish themselves. That’s not a “hooray for us, we can do no wrong” sentiment, that is cold hard fact. Tens of thousands of my grandparents friends and family are buried thousands of miles from the land they loved because they answered the call to defend the lives of other people.

Whatever mistakes the United States has made in recent decades are not at all on par with the inhuman brutality unleashed upon the world in the first four decades of the 20th century. If your goal is to make a silly parody about how goofy the US is, don’t compare us to the greatest evil the world has ever known.

Explanation of Ratings

All ratings are on a 5 point scale where 1 is the lowest possible score. A score of 3 indicates the film was simply effective in this regard. A score of 5 indicates perfection in a given category. The overall rating is a simple average of the four scores.

  • Story -- How well the film was written?  Did the story make sense?  Were there plot holes?  Was the dialogue natural for the style/genre?
  • Direction -- How well was the film put together?  Did all of the elements come together properly?  How was the pacing?  Was the tone consistent and effective?  A subcategory of this would be editing, but for the purpose of these reviews it is combined into one category.
  • Acting -- How good were the performances?  In a drama did the lead actor/actress draw the audience in?  In a comedy where the performers funny?  This is an amalgam score of all the performances in the piece. A single great performance can elevate the entire score, but a bunch of bad performances can just as easily bring it down.
  • Visual -- How did the film look?  If there were visual effects were they used appropriately and did they look good?  Did the overall look enhance the telling of the story?

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