The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

21Dec/090

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

I saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow in theaters years ago, and again about 20 minutes ago.  Ugh.  I wanted to like this movie, but did not, at all.  I should have liked this film.  I was looking forward to it when it came out.  I love retrofuture, I love the old serials, I love old time radio, I love rigid airships, I love robots.  But this movie was unbelievable in a way it didn't need to be, and to such a degree that I couldn't willingly suspend my disbelief.

My primary complaint is that the entire film felt like it was shot with actors in front of a green screen.  There just seemed to be this palpable disconnect between the acting and the scene.  Some of that might have been the difficulty of doing that sort of acting.  It may also have been the director's guidance, trying to mimic the bad/wooden/limited acting of the old serials.  One example that stuck out for me, early in the movie when Polly is on the street running and the robots are marching, towering over her. She's running as though she's running for the elevator in the lobby of Macy's.  There is no hint of real terror, no hint at the earth shaking vibrations which must be occurring as the gigantic robots take each step, no great attempt to avoid the path of the robots (hugging the outside of the street, no she runs in the narrow six feet between the two columns of robots).  Scenes like that (and there were many) ruined the believability for me.

All of the other common complaints I have seen others voice on places like IMDB I agree with, the story and characters did seem to lack a richness/depth.

It was a visually stunning movie, with all of the retro and retrofuture elements I particularly love, and I wish I could have loved it, or even liked it.  I still marvel at some of the stills, though, and for me, that'll have to be what the movie was, a collection of beautiful still pictures, with a story hinted at but not yet properly told.