Sky Captain and the girl journalist who is following him looking for The Big Story save the world from an evil scientist.
This movie was so awful on so many levels…Railroad David (who probably only said this to A) yank my chain and B) get his name in yet another review) says that the director set out to make a 30s adventure movie and succeeded. Sometimes Railroad David is right about movies…but, as is often the case where movies are involved, where he is wrong, he is VERY VERY WRONG.
Let me explain.
If the sort of 30s serial the director wished to emulate were the confusing, badly lit, badly cast ones with boring predictable scripts and idiotic dialogue, the director did indeed succeed.
I suspect this is not actually what the director consciously set out to accomplish…and yet, there it is.
While emulating old black and white adventure movies, and purporting to pay homage to them, this movie is actually shot in several different colors of sepia and pastel colors (all except Ms. Paltrow’s lips, which are always crimson for some reason). The only thing more washed out and pallid than the colors of the film itself are the personalities of the main characters.
Now, granted, the ONLY good thing Gwyneth Paltrow has done so far was Shakespeare in Love…still, she’s pretty and not an actual black hole of personality like <shudder> Keanu Reeves <shudder>…but she and Total Honey Jude Law (WOOF!) had ABSOLUTELY no connection…no sparks, no fizzle, no indication that they were even on the same soundstage when saying their lines. Nothing. Zippo. Nada. Every time they tried to exchange what I think was intended to be amusing banter it sounded like spoiled whiny children bickering. Not good.
Paltrow’s character also embodied many of the stereotypes that annoy me, and saying that this movie was supposed to be like a 30s movie doesn’t cut any ice with me, folks. The most obvious comparison is to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which basically was what this movie was trying to be and failed miserably in every way. And Marion Ravenwood wouldn’t have been caught dead trying to run through an underground city in FOUR INCH SPIKE HEELS, nosiree bob! she would either have brought SENSIBLE SHOES or broken the heels off the damn things in case the situation required a quick sprint to safety.
So where was I? oh, yes. The special effects were good, but that just doesn’t carry a movie, it only attracts viewers…many of whom, like me, were absolutely mystified about the two silver vials that were an essential plot point, caused the deaths of many people, and yet remained unexplained except that they were ABSOLUTELY VITAL to the bad guy’s evil plan.
But the WORST thing, the most REPELLENT thing, the one that TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY PISSED ME OFF…was Lawrence Olivier. Yes, folks, you heard me right. It’s not enough that his life consisted (with a couple of exceptions) of bad scenery-chewing of unprecedented proportions…he is now appearing in movies AFTER HE’S BEEN DEAD FOR YEARS. Now, I know that in Gladiator, Oliver Reed also had scenes created after he died…but that was indeed a different case. For one thing, he was actually contracted to be IN that movie, and if he hadn’t suddenly died would actually have made those scenes, which were created tastefully and well.
But no. Olivier’s estate allowed the filmmakers to use footage and (I assume) computer modeling to make his semblance an actual part of the film…you see photos and a ‘recorded message’ using his head/face that mouths a message to the good guys to let them know all is lost…but it’s just REALLY REALLY CREEPY, y’know?
So unless you’re a real special effects junkie, give this one a miss, it just doesn’t work.