23 January 2006

Review: Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (2004)

In the 1930s, intrepid reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) and her former boyfriend Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Jude Law) race around the world to foil the evil plans of Dr Totenkopf. They have to battle Totenkopf's robots and henchmen, and rescue Sky's gadgeteer mate Dex (Giovanni Ribisi) and a bunch of kidnapped scientists. On their mission, they get meet of some of Sullivan's old friends Kaji (Omid Djalili) and Franky (Angelina Jolie).

After a spectacular start with its impressive backlit cinematography and computer generated visuals inspired by "Metropolis", this film runs of out steam after Polly meets Sky Captain (which is pretty darn early) and crawls from action scene to action scene. The rudimentary adventure plot quickly disintegrates from too many holes, omissions and convenient escapes. For example, the journey to Nepal serves absolutely no purpose other than to provide some background on Totenkopf.

Jude Law is an appropriately square-jawed hero, Angelina Jolie provides a surprisingly plummy British accent, but Gwyneth Paltrow lacks the spark to be an enterprising journalist and looks too modern. Michael Gambon as Polly's editor vanishes after stating some obligatory concerns for his reporter's safety. Sir Laurence Olivier makes a short digitized appearance as Dr Totenkopf.

Special effects needing a plot.

Stars: 1 out of 5