Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

     I feel like I've been had. The word on this movie was that it was so different because some guy was doing all the special effects for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on his PC. I was all set to walk out of the theatre early,but there I was, still sitting there, watching the 300 or so names scroll by of the people who did the special effects. I wuz robbed! Oh well, the movie was pretty good anyway. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is set in a fictionalized world of 1939.  New York city is trashed by some really big robots and an intrepid reporter (Gwyneth Paltrow) and a flying ace (Jude law) work together, mostly, to try to figure out why.  They set off on an globe-trotting adventure, in search of an evil villain (Laurence Olivier) who wants to destroy the world with the help of his mysterious henchman (Bai Ling). Paltrow and Law are assisted by a goofy but lovable engineer (Giovanni Ribisi) and a tough one-eyed RAF flyer (Angelina Jolie).

    The aforementioned special effects are very interesting, however they were done. They look halfway between real and cartoon and give a very 1930's feel to the movie. And since the story is halfway between real and cartoon, and set in the 1930's, they are very appropriate. But this movie isn't just to look at. It has a story too. And I was pleasantly surprised that it held my interest throughout. Most of the credit for keeping me awake goes to the great cast. In particular, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow are amazing and have a wonderful chemistry together, despite filming all their scenes in front of a blue screen. Their relationship is half Nick and Nora, and half Indy and Marion. They are ably assisted by Ribisi who has played so many different character roles lately that you will be distracted trying to place him. And, they are all good movies, i.e., Saving Private Ryan, Lost in Translation, Cold Mountain. Ok, he was in The Mod Squad. And, Angelina Jolie has a lot of fun with her role as Law's old war buddy and ex-girlfriend. Special notice must given to Laurence Olivier who comes from beyond the beyond for his first movie role since 1989.

     Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a bit derivative. You may get a feeling of Deja Vu. There's definitely a few scenes that will remind you slightly of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  They certainly had that effect on me and Robin. But then, those movies were intentionally copying the same 1930's serials that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is emulating. But go see it. Giant Robots and Gwyneth Paltrow! What have you got to lose?