Review of 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow'

sky_captain.jpg An retro, nastalgic look at action film serials of the 30s and 40s, you will either like “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” or you won't, I can't think there will be any middle ground.

Set in New York City, 1939 reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) is investigating the mysterious disappearance of scientists when the city is invaded by giant floating robots. Sky Captain (Jude Law), aka Joe Sullivan, appears in the skies and attacks the robots which are eventually driven out of the city. Back at Sky Captain's base it is revealed to Polly that there have been robot attacks in the past. Technical expert Dex (Giovanni Ribisi) discovers a communication signal that, during an attack on the base, he traces to Asia. It is up to Sky Captain to infiltrate the base and save the world!

The entire film is shot in a sepia-style which is a bit hard on the eyes and makes the entire thing blend into a rather bland whole. The promising action and visual shooting style of the initial 10-15 minutes is let down by the remaining hour and a half where the pace drops considerably feeling like we are just going through the numbers. Sky Captain is based on a short created by Kerry Conran in his house and though the plot is a bit more fleshed out the film feels like simply a drawn out version of it. The parts of the film that are from the original short do, in fact, look magnificent on the big screen, the most successful elements but they are sadly let down by the rest of the film.

The acting is as you might expect: Slightly camp, simple and very straight-laced. In fact, humour is most definitely lacking here with what little there is left to Dex to awkwardly and uncomfortably demonstrate - It simply does not fit and feels forced.

Sky Captain is a by-the-numbers film with little to enthrall beyond the opening scenes. What is lacking is any real heart - It is not warm and it is not inviting, indeed, you will find it hard to care for any of the characters. Not a good sign.


Review Date: 2019-03-09

Directed by: Kerry Conran

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2004

Length: 106 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction