SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW (Kerry Conran, 2004)
The menacingly named Dr. Totenkopf dispatches giant robots around the planet to do his bidding in SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. Jude Law stars as Joe Sullivan, also known as Sky Captain, the leader of an elite private air force. He and reporter Polly Perkins, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, try to thwart the evil doctor’s plans, whatever they may be.
SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW is the fanboy film of 1940 that never was. Writer-director Kerry Conran imagines an adventure cobbled together from serials, comic books, and radio dramas of the 30s and 40s, making something derivative yet unique. It’s an unironic return to screwball comedy banter and rip-roaring action through the innovative use of modern technology. Everything on screen except for the actors and props was created inside a computer. The result is frequently dazzling. Conran is free to indulge the techniques of the era to create something fresh by looking backward. Law and Paltrow’s classic appearances and demeanors make them perfect choices for this sepia-toned throwback film. Many of today’s big special effects pictures feel like the life has been drained from them by too many test screenings and studio executives. SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW is a breath of fresh air, an ambitious, stylized epic that entertains with every frame.
(Review first aired on the September 28, 2004 NOW PLAYING)