Finish humor is one of those things you are hard to describe or even understand, yet if somebody could make a funny movie about Nazis from the Dark Side of the Moon, it was some finns. I had heard a pretty good review of this movie by Mark Kermode, the movie made quite some buzz on the internet, and had part of its financing done by crowd-funding, so I was quite curious to see what the result was like.
Iron Sky is a Science-Fiction comedy produced by Timo Vuorensola based on a story written by Johanna Sinisalo. The movie is set in 2018: unbeknownst to the rest of humanity, the nazi that fled in 1945 have been hiding on the dark side of the moon, where they plot their return.
While this movie is clearly a comedy, it features the two necessary elements for a good science-fiction movie: a plot centered around characters you can care about, and an interesting background. Iron skies pits on one hand a version of the United States where somebody like Sarah Palin became president, and whose PR team staged the landing of black model on the moon to get her re-elected, on the other hand a nazi colony hidden on the dark side of the moon, completely cut of from what happened on earth, which hopes to re-conquer the earth with World War 2 technology.
The plot centers on two characters, Renate Richter, played by Julia Dietze, a pretty nazi earhtologist that is supposed to marry the next Moon-Führer (Klaus Adler, played by Götz Otto) and James Washington, a model turned astronaut for a PR stunt, he is played by Christopher Kirby.
While Iron Sky is certainly not a masterpiece, it is a fun movie that works. Some of the special effects are cheap and most of the science in the movie does not make sense, but I believed and cared about the characters and chuckled at the jokes. I liked the steampunk look of the of moon-nazi base and engine, the fact that for the most, their technology, their mode of though and their fashion had stayed in the 40’s.
One of the key characters of the story is Vivian Wagner, the PR agent of the US president, played by Peta Sergeant, without giving to much of the plot away, she is the bridge between the two worlds, and I think, says a lot about the relationship between modern PR and propagada of yore, and I think her performance is one of the reasons the movie works. While the movie is quite short (93 minutes), it still manages to cram quite a few references and jokes, including of course Charlie Chaplin‘s The Great Dictator and a very good re-acting of the “Hitler reacts to…” sequence of the movie Der Untergang which saw so many spoofs and adaptations on the internet.
In summary, a fun movie with some good cynical undertones, a must see if you like Pulp or Steampunk style movies.