b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Movie Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 

I honestly had no idea what to expect from Sky Captain. My initial recation, based on the first trailer that I saw in the Spring, was that this movie would rank among the corniest, worst films of all time. As I saw more previews, I became more intrigued. Over the course of the last month, I've ended up eagerly anticipating its release, but with the slight fear that it could still be a muddled mess of schlock.

Not the case at all. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a surreal wonder, a painting brought to life. Its stunning visuals, straightforward story and subtle blend of genres should appeal to all walks of filmgoers. From comic book fanboys to sci-fi followers and classic film enthusiasts to art house snobs, Sky Captain's variety of elements offer one of the most unique movie-watching experiences that I've had in some time.

I could try and re-hash the story, but it's not the story that makes Sky Captain succed. It's not bad, mind you, but I didn't walk out of the theater in awe of the script (though I was impressed with the vast amount of allusions and homages). No, this movie wows you with an aesthetic presence that is so difficult to adequately describe that trying is futile. Don't think, though, that I'm propping it up based on looks alone.

Your average Summer blockbuster gets by with booming explosions and state-of-the-art CGI, which it uses to supplement bad dialogue, cheesy characters and an overall lack of substance. This film uses its effects to creat an ambience that furthers the story. Its past-meets-future environment brings the characters to life.

Despite somewhat cliched personas and stand-by plot devices (e.g., love triangles, a stand-offish hero, etc.), Sky Captain's cast delivers solid performances. Jude Law nails the role of Sky Captain, and his chemistry with Gwyneth Paltrow's sassy Polly Perkins never grates or grows stale. Throw in the charming Frankie Cook (Angelina Jolie) and whiz kid sidekick Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), and you have a crew that's ready to save the world.

But save the world from what? That's one place where Sky Captain bogs down. It doesn't spend a wealth of time developing the who, what, why and how of the diabolical plot that faces the fearless foursome. But it's not so egregious as to detract from an overall enjoyable experience. 8/10


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?