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Sky Captain And The World... (2004)
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Review Date: July 22, 2004
Director: Kerry Conran
Writer: Kerry Conran
Producers: Jon Avnet
Actors:
Jude Law as Joe
Gwyneth Paltrow as Polly
Angelina Jolie as Franky
Plot:
Set in a fictional late 1930s environment in which technological advancements are greater than you'd imagine, particularly in the field of the military, an ambitious reporter follows a case of mysterious giant robots invading her city of New York, leading her to an expert fighter pilot, who shot one of them down in combat, and with whom, she also happened to share a relationship at some point. Together, the duo attempt to find the source of the world's newfound enemy, an entity known only as...Totenkopf.
Critique:
Ambitious. Epic. Big. Loud. Computerized. Fantasy. Fun. Adventurous. These words and many others flashed through my mind as the rapid-fire delivery of writer/director Kerry Conran's first motion picture production set sail before my wanting eyes, as both the film's highly distinctive and original style, mixing computer background and characters with real-life actors, and its genre-driven storyline, mixing elements of fantasy, science-fiction, film noir and 30s kitsch took my imagination for a wondrous, fulfilling and highly entertaining ride. Saying that, I know enough about my own tastes and those of the "mainstream" to proclaim that the film might not appeal to certain others out there, particularly those unimpressed by its unique style to begin with. I really enjoyed just "looking" at this movie, with its shadowy tints overlapping most every scene, its brilliant computer imagery fashioning a believable and wondrous new world dimension based in the 1930s, but filled with technological wizardries and original creations. Of course, one could argue that a gorgeous-looking movie isn't worth its own price in admission, so it's nice to report that this film doesn't just look the part, but also acts the part with plenty of exciting action sequences making sure that the images aren't just there to look pretty, but also to serve an ambitious storyline that generates memorable sequences including giant robots stomping through the streets of New York, fighter aircrafts dogfighting it through the skies, an adventure through the Tibetan mountains and one of the cooler movie sequences of the year featuring an adventurous underwater chase between the good guys and the bad, which finishes on a perfect touch from the idyllically cast, Angelina Jolie (why couldn't her crappy TOMB RAIDER movies have even half the ambition or originality of this film?)

On top of Jolie, who actually has a very small part in the film, both Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow also provided great performances as the leading bickering duo, who -- most obviously to everyone - are in love, but who continue to make insinuations about one another while knocking each other down at every turn. Of course, like most films of its genre, the final outcome between the lovers is inevitable, but the journey is a fun one to experience, particularly the quips, one-liners and Paltrow's wonderful eye-rolls and unapproving stares. Cute. The film's also got plenty of lighter moments, and even a few laugh-out loud lines ("I meant throw something"). Giovanni Ribisi also comes through in his role as the technical expert, as does the mysterious Bai Ling, perfect as the ambiguous villain helping the greater ambiguous villain with his supposed plan for world domination? In the end, this movie entertained me from beginning till the end with a fun storyline that mixed various appealing elements, a cute love line between the two leads, plenty of adventurous action sequences, inventive style and directing choices and a gorgeous computerized world vision, second to none. I'm looking forward to owning this movie on DVD and despite it not being for everyone, heartily recommending it to anyone who loves the INDIANA JONES and STAR WARS franchises, and who's sick and tired of seeing the same old crap regurgitated onto their local movieplex screens every other weekend. A great, fun ride! PS: "Lenscap."
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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