Everybody knows the premise of Iron Sky: as a character in the movie says, it’s “Nazis … from the Moon”. It’s a given that something explosive happens in the movie. Yet, it can carry the story only so far, certainly not the full 93 minutes. Before I saw the film, I worried whether the writers had come up with something good enough to fill the blanks. Suffice to say I’ve seen the movie twice now and expect to go at least once more to the theater.
Yes, there’s lots more than just the high concept. I can’t tell you what it is… spoilers! But I can mention some highlights without giving too much away. There’s a hilarious reenactment of the Youtube hit scene from Downfall. Finland is revealed to be unique in the way it expresses its love of peace. While the President of the United States of America (Stephanie Paul) does look a bit like Sarah Palin, the character is much more believable as POTUS. Oh, and while it’s not a part of the movie, I really like the turn-your-cellphones-off infomercial using characters from Iron Sky. And yes, Iron Sky passes the Bechedel Test.
I can also tell you this: the audience laughed many times, in both occasions; it also was utterly silent in the right moments. (Well, apart from the young man somewhere behind me in the public premiere who found both a nuclear bombing and a spaceship ramming another laugh-out-loud funny.) Iron Sky is a comedy, yes, but it is also deadly serious.
Before I saw Iron Sky the first time, I thought I would be comparing the film to Spaceballs and Galaxy Quest. Now, I don’t find those comparisons very useful any more (but I would rate Iron Sky above Spaceballs, any day). The film I find myself, quite to my surprise, drawn to as the best comparison is Kubrik’s classic Dr Strangelove. While Iron Sky doesn’t match its brilliance, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. After all, Strangelove is one of the best films ever produced.
I give Iron Sky ★★★★☆. Your mileage may, of course, vary.