“Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” is a sepia tinted dream that embodies the essence of science fiction. Even the filming of “Sky Captain” appears to be science fiction as first time writer-director Kerry Conran shot the movie with minimal props and a blue screen as almost all of the sets.
However, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” is strangely beautiful and surprisingly entertaining. With its solid cast and never ending parade of eye candy, the film is sure to be a treat for almost any moviegoer. The story, set during the World War II era, explores the strange disappearance of eight prominent scientists and their link to a mysterious man known as Totenkopf.
The film kicks into gear almost immediately as a drove of massive robots converge on New York City. The city’s only hope is to call upon a pilot for hire – Sky Captain.
Jude Law as Sky Captain is completely two dimensional, and it’s brilliant. Law along with Gwyneth Paltrow playing pesky reporter Polly Perkins are forced to carry the film with their combined chemistry. The two actors worked together in “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
With Paltrow and Law as former lovers consistently taking swipes at each other, it appears that little can be accomplished by the pair. By the time Angelina Jolie comes into the picture as Capt. Fran Cook, it is a welcomed change.
Cook along with Giovanni Ribisi as Sky Captain’s tech savvy sidekick Dex are the most interesting characters in the film. These characters are so strong because they are among the very few that are not adhering strictly to the mold.
Attempting to hold on tightly to a well-worn path, is the major threat to the greatness on which “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” is bordering. The movie attempts so hard to recapture the essence of the World War II era films that it loses much of the originality in storytelling and character development.
Luckily, the visual elements and tone of the film are completely captivating and a pleasant surprise. The credit for this can be given to Conran’s decision to film the actors in front of blue screens, which allowed him to add the sets using computer technology. There is a slight irony in using futuristic techniques to recreate a past film style in which they attempted to show futuristic technology.
“Sky Captain” is a memorable movie-going experience that stands out because of its visual prominence. Too bad the story is so intent on blending into the background because nothing else in this film does.
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