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Iron Sky: Moon Nazis Taking Over Earth
It's 2018 and Sarah Palin is the president of the US. The world is far more technologically advanced, while not much has changed politically. Two astronauts, one of whom, James Washington (Kirby), is a black male model, are sent to the dark side of the moon as a publicity stunt to help Palin get re-elected. They land and find that the moon is inhabited by Nazis who'd fled the Earth in 1945 and built a colony there. Biding their time until the day when they would amass the necessary strength, the plan is to come back and complete Hitler’s vision. They've already built the biggest warship ever created by man, but they just need a power source strong enough to get it flying which they find in the form of Washington's iPhone - until it runs out of battery that is. In order to get some more iPhones, Klaus Adler (Otto), a Nazi general and aspiring fuhrer, and Renate Richter, an expert on earthlings, head to the Earth with Washington where they become entangled in Palin’s election campaign.
Nazis. From. The. Moon. With that kind of subject matter, the film should have been insane. But while it falls several notches short of insanity, it is still completely absurd and, consequently, a whole lot of fun.
The first thing you notice about the film is that pretty much everything except for the actors was made on a computer - and it all looks really good. The film’s budget was probably less than what some Hollywood blockbusters spend on catering, yet the film’s visuals are nothing to sneeze at. It has a very camp, comic book style and wears its inspirations proudly on its sleeve, like the Darth Vader-style Nazi spacesuits.
The film is ridiculously camp but also deadly serious. It lifts contemporary global politics and sets in a completely absurd situation. So while the film doesn’t add anything to the conversation, it’s hilarious because it’s so relatable. The constant references to modern day politics may date the film a bit for future watchers, but for now, it’s completely on point. The Americans bear the brunt of the jokes which mostly revolve around how they’ll do anything to get their hands on energy sources and how their presidents love wars because they get them re-elected.
It isn’t all politics though. One of the best and most memorable characters is an advertising executive who comes up with the smart idea of incorporating Klaus and Renate into the presidential campaign. It plays on every single stereotype about advertisers selling their soul to the devil and being devoid of a conscience. Sergeant plays the character as a single-minded, self-obsessed opportunist and her performance is consistently hilarious.
While the film is good fun, with a concept this cool and a cast who know exactly how to handle the kitsch factor, it should have pushed more boundaries. By the end of the film, you’ve been reasonably entertained but you’re still left with a feeling of what if? What if the film had been a bit bolder and had gone beyond the obvious digs?
She wakes up from her coma to a husband who she doesn’t remember and parents who are overjoyed that she’s forgotten about their dispute. While Paige’s parents try to bring her back to the way of life that she’d rebelled against, Leo tries to help her remember why she’d left all that behind in the first place. Fighting for a wife who doesn’t remember him and is a completely different person than the one he knew, Leo tries to get her to fall in love with him again.
The film rarely gets unbearably cheesy, setting it apart from your run of the mill Sparks adaptation. It gets mushy, emotional and sappy, but it’s more likely to make you smile than roll your eyes. Leo’s pain and heartbreak combined with Paige’s family’s delight at having their daughter back, gives the film a level of grit that keeps it from becoming overly cloying. However, the secret of the film’s success is the leads, who have great chemistry and manage to pass off some of the cheesiness as bearable.