Movie Report: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

Book coverAt Rob K.’s recommendation, I watched this film. I am easily led, you see, so be careful with your comments, gentle reader, as they may spur me to action.

So, the plot: In an alternative reality, in 1939, an intrepid woman reporter, Polly (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) investigates the disappearance of several scientists. As she’s doing so, a number of giant robots attack the city to extract resources. The authorities call upon Sky Captain, played by Jude Law, who is the leader of a band of mercenary pilots. Sky Captain manages to save Polly and disable one of the robots, which he takes to his base in the mountains for his science-and-engineering genius, played by Giovanni Ribisi, to study. Sky Captain and Polly follow the trail of the missing scientists to a base in the Himalayas and then to an island lair where Dr. Totenkopf’s minions have been building a rocket to take select animals and people and robots to another planet to begin anew as man on earth is bad. Unfortunately, the rocket’s acceleration at about 100km above the earth’s surface will kill all life on the planet.

As mentioned in the previous post, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow features a lot of CGI animation–the film was one of the first to feature a completely green-screen backlot, where scenery behind the actors is completely penciled pixeled in. As Rob said, it has aged well, but that’s because the animation was supposed to look a bit like a comic book and not as real as they could make at the time. So it’s not a jarring anachronism.

An interesting film, an especial treat if you’re familiar with the comic books of the 1930s (such as Doc Savage) with their tropes.

Angelina Jolie appears in the film wearing an eyepatch which in the comic books of the 1930s would not disqualify one from being a pilot. Bai Ling also appears in this movie–it is the first film I’ve seen her in since posting her picture in 2017. I thought it might be the first film I’d seen with her, but I’ve seen The Crow and Red Corner, so this is not the case. I just didn’t know then to associate the name with the actress at the time.

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