Iron Sky is the best moon Nazi film of 2012
Moon Nazis are coming. Yes, that’s right; Nazis from the moon will be invading select UK cinemas from Wednesday 23 May. That is the premise, at least, of Iron Sky, a partially fan-funded space-war b-movie that is every bit as absurd as it sounds. When the initial directorial choice, Terrence Malick, dropped out of the project over “creative differences” Finnish black metal singer Timo Vuorensola stepped in to take the reins. The outcome is a film as daft and factually questionable as the previous sentence, but enjoyable enough in its own silly way.
Though last summer Michael Bay theorised that the dark side of the moon concealed a gigantic transforming robot, Iron Sky reveals the far more obvious, logical truth: with their plans for world domination falling apart before their eyes in 1945, the Third Reich beat a hasty retreat to the moon. Because in space, no one can hear you heil. When a black US astro-model (Christopher Kirby) stumbles upon the Swastika shaped moon-base, it’s game on for the moon Nazis. To say Iron Sky is ridiculous would be totally redundant. The obvious aim is to be as batty as possible whilst lampooning and referencing along the way. Americans are an easy target, especially with a Sarah Palin-esque president (Stephanie Paul) in place and moon resource Helium 3 eventually becoming a point of contention. At the centre of the chaos is a well-meaning Nazi with a heart as golden as her locks (Julia Dietze). Will earth be able to contend with the Führer-apparent Adler’s (Götz Otto) space-zeppelin based attacks? Does a Nazi live on the moon?
Iron Sky definitely enters so-bad-it’s-kinda-good territory. So perversely enjoyable, that it can only get better the higher the viewer’s blood-alcohol level rises. The best example of the kind of cringe-worthy, giggle inducing gags employed here can be summed up in one word: Albinisier. The performances vary from fairly decent (Otto) to incredibly bad (Peta Sergeant as the President’s right-hand woman is all bosom, no delivery) with a fair amount of wobbling in-between (Dietze and Kirby). In fairness to the kind of film Iron Sky aims to be, the most disappointing aspect of it that is isn’t as funny as one might hope. The jokes and gags are pretty hit and miss. It has stretches devoid of humour altogether, which seems counterproductive. With such as easy target as Palin in the crosshairs, there’s too little that is done with the running gag to justify how much time is dedicated to it. The best laughs come from moon Nazi exposure to the luxuries of modern-life. It’s too bad there wasn’t more focus on that aspect before moving on to the CGI space-shootout. As for that big climax, it never surpasses mildly amusing levels, as things are played too straight for anyone’s good. The effects used to bring the battle to life are not the most impressive to hit the screen, big or small, but serves the purpose well enough. There’s nothing spectacular on display, but that sums up Iron Sky on the whole, anyway.
For what it is, Iron Sky is fine. There’s nothing that will blow minds (beyond the realisation that there are effing Nazis living on the moon!), so it’s best to keep them turned off for the film’s 90 minutes. Ideally, Iron Sky tickets and DVDs would be shrink-wrapped to a case of German beer and consumed with a local establishment’s finest Pizzachen. When it comes to fending off the threat posed by moon Nazis, serious cinema-goers need not apply. 6/10