Thursday, January 3, 2013

Iron Sky Review

Iron Sky is a zany movie. In some ways, it is a parody, and the movie is intelligently executed. Let me clue you in on some of my thoughts.

First, the character Renate is an idealistic proponent of National Socialism. She educates the children as the only Earthologist on the moon. Her innocence is the lens through which the plot unfolds. She teaches her little Aryan children the language of the Earth -- English --,  and she is the wife-to-be of the ambitious Klaus, the next in line to become the leader of the Nazis on the moon. Renate accompanies Klaus and a captured Black Astronaut named James Washington. James Washington was picked by the President of the United States, a perfect parody of Sarah Palin, to travel to the moon and scout Helium-3 deposits. Helium 3 is an energy source that would make the United States all but unstoppable if it secured this deposit. Too bad it belongs to the Nazis.

When Renate goes to Earth and presents herself to the President, she lectures on themes of an ideal world order, a utopian of peace and tranquility invoking the same divine imagery that often blinds the fundamentalist Right. That's the beauty of this moment. Iron Sky loses this insight to the dumbfounded antics of its zany nature, but the point is driven home when Renate's speech is worded exactly through the lips of the President.

Meanwhile, Renate's innocence is lost by living in the United States, but strangely she learns about Nazis from Charlie Chaplin's movie The Dictator. The character in the dark parody becomes awakened by the light-hearted early 20th century parody. In the end, Renate and James Washington travel back to the moon as unsung heroes to save it. The redemption of Earth is found in the embrace of diversity as a James Washington kisses Renate.

The ending, also, proves equally insightful. When the Nazis are defeated and no longer a threat, the President orders her lackey to secure the Helium 3 deposits. The coalition of spaceships that fought to save the Earth against the Nazi invasion all succumb to a frenzy of Hobbesian self-interest. The ships destroy each other, and as the camera pans out from the moon base, small flashes of light encircle populated areas of the world. The states of the world end up destroying the world, and give us the very world the Nazis wanted to bring about all in the name of "energy independence" courtesy of the United States.

Needless to say, this movie offers a perception of the US that is less than favorable. Far be it for me to say that the Europeans involved in making this film should have a different perception. I just found the perceptions offered with subtle nuances and while sometimes, these anti-American perceptions were more than central in animating the plot, yet the emphasis did not become overpowered with cynicism. Instead, the perceptions of the US were honest, and this honesty is balanced with respect to the dark comedy genre of the film. Some dark comedies are overly reliant upon cynicism to animate the film. The welcoming feature of this film is in offering us a parody of the fundamentalist strain of American politics and stark greed we have for energy independence such that this desire is more important than the safety of the world itself.

Beyond these two points, the movie is a B movie. Iron Sky suffer from overly acted scenes, cliche lines and predictable plot devices. Plot wise, the movie is not that spectacular, but rather average. It neither stuns nor shocks the spectator. Instead, the movie is ranked in the middle on Facebook.

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