Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
by Tony Medley
is a sci-fi futuristic film set in 1939. The production notes for it
state, “Featuring state-of-the-art special effects never seen before, Sky
Captain and the World of Tomorrow represents a trailblazing moment
in cinematic history. With more than 2000 effects shots, this
unprecedented feature uses live action filmed against blue screen and
fills in every frame detail digitally, after the completion of principal
photography.” Sky Captain had no sets and no locations. Everything
except the actors is computer generated.
You’ll notice that
there is no mention of script or story or directing or acting. And with
good reason. There is no evidence of script or story or directing or
acting. It’s all special effects. It’s not even pleasing to the eye
because the color is more sepia-like, the antithesis of “glorious
Captain” Sullivan (Jude Law) flies a P40 Warhawk WWII fighter. He’s
searching for a guy named Totenkopf, an elusive German scientist who has
created horrible machines that in March of 1939 attack New York City.
Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) is an intrepid journalist who fears
nothing and has had a relationship with Sky and goes with him to search
for Totenkopf, leading to some outlandish adventures.
Since this is a
takeoff on pulp fiction stories, nothing in this film equates to reality
or makes sense. Sky can fly his small fighter pilot around the world
without refueling. He runs into Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie) another old
flame who’s floating around the world in a refueling station who helps
him and gets Polly jealous. Don’t go to see this film for Angelina
because she couldn’t have spent more than a couple of days filming her
scenes, she’s in so few. It’s almost fraudulent to advertise her as
one of the three co-stars.
One thing I did like
about it was that in one scene where Sky and Polly are looking for
something they come to a room with the number 1138 on it, a subtle
homage to George Lucas, whose first film was THX 1138 (1971).
The film is not
visually pleasing because of the lack of good color. It’s not
intellectually pleasing due to the lack of a reasonable story or good
humor. It’s another film where there’s absolutely no tension
because, despite overwhelming odds, you know that Sky is never going to
be vanquished. He goes up against, literally, thousands of adversaries
and never gets a scratch.
The script is not
funny or even humorous, or logical, or satirical.
no logic. The sepia type color makes it unpleasant to watch. If
this is the future for major Hollywood films, just Computer Graphic
Images (CGI) and virtually nothing else, I’d rather watch the
old Buster Crabbe Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon films made
in the ‘30s, which you could have seen for a dime, first run.
September 18, 2004