Projections - Movie Reviews

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Sky Captain
Starring Jude Law,, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Bai Ling

Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow has the feel of a 30's film with false flat backgrounds in the opening scenes. Those backgrounds become quite effective as the film moves along and they provide a special effect look that is way beyond what can be achieved through other techniques.

The background is a blue screen, similar to the style weather forecaster use as they present the ebb and flow of weather over the country. They stand in front of a blue or green screen and through exclusion of the background color the weather map appears behind them to the audience at home. If any doubt existed as to wether the process could produce a fantastic world for the performers to work in, Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow puts all those fears aside.

The film opens with art deco styling on the introduction credits and music that is fitting for a super-hero. We quickly meet Sky Captain (Jude Law) all buttoned up in his leather jacket and helmet. Right behind him is Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) in a trench coat large hat and a Veronica Lake look to her blond hair. They quickly head out in his World War II styled fighter plane to rescue scientists from a mysterious villain named Dr. Totenkopf.

Teaming with Angelina Jolie’s Frankie, a tough pilot who knows some secrets of Dr. Totenkopf’s fortress laboratory such as how to fly underwater into a channel that leads to the inside of the secret island they begin their attack on the dangerous doctor.

We find a world under the island that is filled will nasty giant robots who protect the lair of the Doctor while he builds his dream which will result in the destruction of planet Earth. There is no limit to the imagination which can be produced with this process. The hero’s visit a “Lost Horizon” country where we expect to see Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt strolling in the gardens. They even are forced to cross a tree bridge which could have been used in the original “King Kong.”

With two vials in her hand to be delivered at a crucial time Polly participates in a number of the many cliff-hangers which are produced by her and Sky Captain’s as they attempt to stop the mad Dr Totenkopt’s dream.

We could say this film is a meeting of “The Wizard of Oz” and Indiana Jones or it could be an extension of the 1939 New York World’s Fair dream, which was called “The World of Tomorrow.”

The performances may be static but this over-the-top adventure brought me back to the imagination which could arise from listening to a great radio mystery thriller where all the action took place on a tapestry that came from my mind and was not limited by reality or technology.

Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow is a great bit of imagination from Director/Screenwriter Kerry Conran filled with traditional cliff hangers, implausible gigantic sets, mechanical characters and a final twist that explains the convoluted plot. I can’t wait to see it again.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

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