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Sky Captain and the World of Tommorrow

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tommorrow

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
Director: Kerry Conran
Rated: PG
RunTime: 106 Minutes
Release Date: September 2004
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action

*Also starring: Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Gambon, Ling Bai, Omid Djalili, Laurence Olivier

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

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 well.

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 style.

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

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