Watching the visually imaginative SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, your
initial wows will quickly turn into yawns. Its comic-like story is a bland
blend of FLASH GORDON, JURASSIC PARK, STAR WARS and THE IRON GIANT. A live
action picture, it was filmed exclusively against blue screens so that
everything but the humans are computer generated. But, given how wooden the
acting is, you may begin to wonder whether Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and
Angelina Jolie were actually ever on the set. Maybe the reason that their
characters are so cardboard-like is that the actors were done with CGI as
This big budget disaster was originally scheduled to open with the rest of the
summer's popcorn pictures, but it was moved to a mid-September opening when the
competition is lighter. The movie's retro look is that of an old sepia-tone
film that has been slightly colorized. For the first five or ten minutes, the
visuals are enough to carry the movie, but eventually the preposterous plot
begins to sink the film.
The movie seems made for people in their sixties who want to recapture the good
old times they had watching cheesy sci-fi flicks during Saturday double
features. Today's moviegoers, however, are likely to be bored silly by it all.
Law plays Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan, a blend of an aerial ace and a Flash
Gordon figure. The movie appears set somewhere around the early 1940s. Joe is
accompanied by Polly Perkins (Paltrow), a persistent but slightly ditzy
reporter. Angelina Jolie has a small part as Capt. Francesca "Franky" Cook,
who lends Joe and Polly aid at a crucial moment. The only slightly interesting
character, a quirky inventor named Dex Dearborn, is played by Giovanni Ribisi.
Will our heroes save the world from a maniacal scientist with a doomsday
device? What do you think? But more to the point is -- why will you care?
The movie was originally just a six minute short of nothing but CG effects.
Six minutes would be just the right length for this exercise in nostalgic
SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW runs a long 1:37. It is rated PG for
"sequences of stylized sci-fi violence and brief mild language" and would be
acceptable for all ages.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes