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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: Oh jeepers


Oh man I totally TOLD you guys this was double Tophat post week on Monday, didn’t I?  Look at me carrying through with promises that no one was really looking forward to, or will even enjoy.  I do this for you.  My fan.  Yes, I’m pretty sure there is only about 1.3 of you out there, and it’s always difficult holding a conversation with .3 of a person.  Oh look at that I’m rambling again.  Lets just move on to the portion of this post where I actually talk about something entertainment-ways.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.  Wait, sorry.  I mean SKY CAPTAIN and the WORLD OF TOMORROW.  The caps are key for drama, you see.  It’s a movie that features a guy, some zeppelins, giant robots, and also possibly Gwyneth Paltrow.

The plot in SKY CAPTAIN and the WORLD OF TOMORROW is pretty basic.  The year is probably 1939 and the United States is swiftly moving forward in the field of science, technology, and giant robots.  Which have a tendency to burst in on the scene, screw up traffic patterns for hours, and then mysteriously abscond with some piece of metal or technology without a trace.  At the start of the film, a local newspaper reporter by the name of Gwyneth Paltrow I mean Polly Perkins, receives an anonymous tip to go meet a scared scientist at a movie theater.

An all star cast. Also a nameless redshirt at the console there.

See, it turns out the scientist is pretty upset.  All his science friends have mysteriously vanished, taken away by the legendary Dr. Totenkopf, who, the film assures us, we totally knew about before booting up the film.  Before Polly can get much information out of the guy, the aforementioned giant robots swoop in and cause a mess, stopping only after the dashing and gallant Jude Law, I mean Sky Captain flies his plane into the invaders and wrecks some robots.

From there, it’s a standard action film.  There’s not much plot here, so I won’t spoil the rest.  Suffice to say that Polly and Mr. Captain go on a fantastic adventure to stop all of the plots and secrets ever.  Joe Sky Captain because he is a no-nonsense leader of a team of tough as nails mercenaries, and Polly because she needs to get the STORY for the NEWSPAPER.  Because apparently having access to wireless control robots, zeppelins and laser guns doesn’t necessarily require you to make the internet first.

First, the good things about the film.  The tone.  The entire film feels like you have picked up a 1940s pulp comic right from the very beginning.  It never tries to be anything more than a fun action film.  It’s something you don’t see too often anymore.  It kind of reminded me of watching Indiana Jones at times: just action for the sake of having a totally sweet action scene.


I like alternate science history stuff too.  It’s not quite steampunk, since there was neither steam nor punk, and Enosh called it an “undefined althistory genre.”  When I asked him to sound less pretentious, he said the words “Robo Noir,” so I guess I’m going to go with that.  The science is intentionally cheesy.  You have been warned.

The downside?  Not too fond of the characters.  Sky Captain and Polly have a history, or so we’re told, which causes some tension between the two.  Other than that, Captain doesn’t have much development, and Polly is really only along for the ride so she can create problems for Sky Captain to solve.  She’s one of those characters that has no real purpose but to irritate the hero, and to be hot and also the love interest.  The side characters, namely a technician named Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), a SEXY sky platform captain (Angelina Jolie.  Her character in this film has an eye patch, which I kept thinking she probably lost in a horrible tomb raiding accident) and Bai Ling as a mysterious mute assassin, round out the cast, but don’t particularly add to the personality pool.

…. Wait a second.  Bai Ling?  Wasn’t she the stripper in Crank: High Voltage?  Whose English was so bad they actually had to give her subtitles in the film?  …  Yes.  Looks that way.  Well, that explains why her character in Sky Captain was mute, I guess.

Still, there are worse ways to spend your time than watching this film.  Being eaten alive with eels comes to mind.  But then again, something’s got to be pretty bad to be worse than being eelmunched.  Crap I’m babbling again.  Lets wrap this up.

SKY CAPTAIN and the WORLD OF TOMORROW may be a pretty basic film, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.  If, however, you’re looking for a film full of deep character development and intrigue, maybe keep moving?


4 Responses

  1. I could be SKY CAPTAIN! I have rights, you know.

    • I did almost put a clause in this article that said this movie was about SKY CAPTAIN, and not, as I would have preferred, CAPTAIN SKY. I ended up leaving it out because I’m pretty sure you don’t own an airplane, and that I didn’t think you had made it beyond GENERAL SKY.

      • hahaha, well all right. i’m glad you thought about it though 🙂

  2. Ah, the first movie shot entirely in front of a green screen. It’s not as bad as everyone said when it was released but it’s not great.

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