“Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow”

Here’s a good one, 2004’s “Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow”.

If you have seen this film you will either love it or hate it. We love it. Mostly.

Let’s get a quick plot summary out of the way first: in an alternative reality New York City, around 1940, an invasion of giant robots takes over the city. Sky Captain (Joe Sullivan) has to save the world from a fiendish plot by mad scientist Dr Totenkopf. Polly Perkins, ace reporter, drags herself along for the ride, hiding evidence and generally getting in the way.

There’s an incredible cast. Jude Law is the captain, Gwyneth Paltrow is Polly the reporter, Michael Gambon her boss, Giovanni Ribisi as Dex the ace mechanic, and Angelina Jolie as Franky, ex-girlfriend and naval commander. And, oh yes, Dr Totenkopf is played by Sir Laurence Olivier.

The beginning of the film is quite wonderful. Originally, director Kerry Conran had created a short as a kind of demo/trailer for the idea of the film using a home computer. If you can catch this, do. The invasion of the robots looks good even on a home tv, and the scene set to “The Wizard Of Oz” works wonderfully. And we always wanted to be like Dex.

As the movie itself progresses, and it’s not massively long, it loses its way a bit. The ending is fine though. Jude Law plays the Biggles type character well.

I first saw it at the cinema. What comes over more than any other film I think is the sense of scale. The invading robots are big, Sky Captain’s hanger has the most enormous doors. The whole film has a wonderful subdued colour to it that we know many find annoying. No cliche is left unturned, deliberately.

Almost the entire film is cgi. If you can pick up this film on physical media, watch the extras.

It’s a much underrated film and most enjoyable, except… Gwenyth Paltrow is annoying beyond belief. Enough said…

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