You’ve seen the poster: “In 1945 the Nazis retreated to the Moon. Now they’re coming back!”
the poster: “In 1945 the Nazis retreated to the Moon. Now they’re coming back!” You’ve seen the trailers on the
internet featuring jackbooted, space suited Nazis driving motorbikes across the
lunar landscape, 1950s B-movie flying saucers and Albert Speer-inspired moon
bases shaped like swastikas.
You’ve thought: “That looks fun!”
And Iron Sky is fun. Kinda. Sorta. But not
really. At least not as much as
you want it to be.
When America’s first female President (Stephanie Paul), a right-wing,
endangered species killing gun-nut obviously modeled on Sarah Palin, decides to
take the USA back to the Moon she hadn’t reckoned on the planetoid being home
to steampunk Nazis who escaped the Earth at the end of WW2 and have been
waiting for the chance to strike back and invade, establishing a new Reich with
everyone’s favourite boggle-eyed loon Udo
Kier as Fuhrer. As Nazi flying
saucers level New York and the UN fights back with a space fleet commanded by
ball-busting Aussie spin doctor Peta
Sergeant (think Malcolm Tucker with nicer breasts), the fate of the world
comes to rest on Christopher Kirby’s
model-turned-astronaut (possibly the most annoying ethnic stereotype since Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element) and Julia
Dietze’s sexy ubermädchen.
Iron Sky isn’t that bad. It’s actually quite good. In fact, if you only see one film made
by a bunch of Finnish sci-fi geekboys, make it this one. It looks fantastic. The shoestring CGI effects are
stunning, the moonscapes breathtaking, the climactic space battle a
triumph. The actors are all
obviously having fun and the statuesque Julia Dietze and Peta Sergeant stay
just the right side of OTT though if Christopher Kirby works again as a film
actor you can only assume it’ll be after years of rep.
One question will bug you throughout the film, however. You don’t see many Finnish comedies, do
you? Iron Sky answers that
question. The reason you don’t see
many Finnish comedies is Finns just aren’t funny. The satire on display in Iron Sky is about as heavy-handed
as a jackboot to the balls. While
the Sarah Palin jokes are funny, they’re about four years out of date and
Stephanie Paul is no Tina Fey. Kirby’s black hero being dyed white by
the Nazis just seems a little crass and pointless (particularly when there
isn’t even a decent Michael Jackson
joke). Dietze and villain Götz
Otto’s earthly sojourn as trend-setting fashionistas seems to have
just staggered pointlessly into the film to pad out the running time. Much of the film is given over to
“Whoops! There go my lederhosen!”
farce that makes your average Carry On
film seem sophisticated. If you’re
making a film where space Nazis dye a black guy white you’re just asking for
trouble by referencing Dr. Strangelove
and it’s fight in the War Room.
And if you’ve got Udo Kier in your film, for the love of God use the
boggle-eyed loon! Udo is one of
those actors, like Christopher Walken
or Klaus Kinski, who just by showing
up on set makes a film infinitely more fun. Iron Sky needs more Udo and much less Christopher Kirby.
A film about Nazis on the Moon really should be more fun than Iron Sky.