Sky Captain is one of those movies I had to go and see because of the way it was made, regardless of actual content. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, all the action was filmed in front of blue (and possibly green) screens, with all the sets and backgrounds being computer generated.
This would be interesting in itself, but I was even more intrigued by the stated aim of the movie to recreate the atmosphere and style of 1930s/40s film noir, with a fair dash of the feel of the old Flash Gordon serials.
My first impression was that the filmakers had overdosed on the Fritz Lang classic Metropolis. That’s a Good Thing, by the way. The first thing we see is a huge Zeppelin mooring on the tower of the Empire State Building. In boring old reality, this never happened for reasons to do with updrafts and stability, but it looks great in the CGI world of Sky Captain.
Soon enough, the action starts. The city is attacked by enormous flying killer death robots. In the fine tradition of this kind of movie, reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), determined to get her story (and the all-important pictures) gets a little too close, and it’s only the arrival of the hero of the piece, Joe ‘Sky Captain’ Sullivan (the increasingly ubiquitous Jude Law) that saves her from Certain Death.
There’s a mystery to solve, a Mad Scientist with an even madder Plan. There’s more of the giant robots. There’s a flying aircraft carrier that looks like a 1940s propellor driven take on Captain Scarlet‘s Cloudbase. There’s the traditional hero’s sidekick. There’s heroism, drama and more than a little romantic tension between the two leads. It’s a lot of fun.
The look is stunning. Parts of the movie are in black and white, there are washes of that classic Technicolor look (this really helps create the atmosphere), and parts are in more normal full colour.
Definitely worth seeing. The DVD should be interesting when it appears – I’d like to see the development process for this one.
Regardless of the techniques used to make it, this is an entertaining movie with at least a couple of those “wooooo” moments.
 Excuse the abbreviated title, please…
 You get a lot of Certain Death in this kind of thing…
 That might just be me, but hey…