Dir: Timo Vuorensola
Starring: Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby, Gotz Otto, Udo Kier
How the hell did this film ever get made? It’s not often, but every now and then I sit watching a film and this is the only thing that runs through my head. Iron Sky is such a film. But not because it’s particularly bad, simply because it’s insane and no producer in their right mind should have looked at this project and gone: ‘great idea, here’s the money let’s roll!’ It’s my second Nazi movie in a week and I’m not entirely sure what that says about me and if I should be worried, but with a crazy set up like this has how could I resist?!
At the end of The Second World War the Nazis retreated to the dark side of the moon. Here they have built a giant Swastika shaped haven where they teach the finer side of National Socialism and plan their triumphant return to earth. Young idealistic teacher Renate(Dietze) is seemingly unaware of the horrors of the holocaust and the war and is happy to teach the young about the righteousness of their cause. Her Reich commander boyfriend, Klaus(Otto), is a hero of sorts, who is ready to lead the mission to earth.
Their plans take an unexpected turn when an American moon landing unwittingly stumbles upon them. One of the Astronauts is killed, and the other is taken hostage. When the hostage is revealed as African American named James(Washington), who swears he is just a model involved in a publicity stunt, all hell breaks loose and the Nazi’s find their plans speeded up. and a mission to earth is put into action. James is turned ‘white’ and sent back to earth with Renate and Klaus to help the Nazis take earth back. Once on earth they find themselves at the centre of a plan to get the president of the United States re elected.
If the film sounds incredibly convoluted, that’s because it is. It flies off in so many directions and tries to cram in so much attempted satire that it is inevitably hit and miss. At its best it’s an oddball comedy that flirts dangerously close to the line of what is acceptable; at its worst it’s tonally uneven and painfully heavy handed.
The best stuff here comes from simple minded slapstick. When the film isn’t trying to be clever it has some fun, amusing moments. James’ statement to police about his situation made me laugh out loud: “you are a formally dead black model, who is now suddenly a living white hobo after spending a weekend on the moon.” There is a better, funnier film hidden here somewhere!
However, it stumbles all over itself when it tries its hand at smart- arsed political satire. The President is a deliberate Sarah Palin clone and the lines the movie draws between the politics of the Nazi’s and those of middle America are heavy handed and rather obvious. That’s not to say all its satire fails to raise a smile; its send up of the UN where North Korea takes credit for everything the Nazi’s are up to and are promptly told ” Shut up North Korea” is very funny; as is the ensuing brawl when no one can agree on a solution. But it is far too blunt most of the time and comes off as cringe worthy rather than funny.
Iron Sky has big ideas and whilst it’s conceptually obnoxious it does deserve some credit for attempting such large scale theatrics. To say this was made on a millionth of the budget of a Hollywood blockbuster it looks rather epic at times, especially on this Blu-ray edition. It’s a shame that budgetary constraints mean there is a lull in the pace around half way through, as it becomes very talky and relies on its pretty green screen backgrounds to keep things interesting. It is also a shame to have to criticise a movie for having too many ideas, but Iron Sky ultimately buries itself by not being able to focus. In the end this is worth a look just out of curiosity, but for all its off kilter craziness it comes up short.