Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - 4 out of 5
I really dig seeing what people in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and even the 70’s thought the future would be. Hell, even in the 80’s their idea of what the future would be is cool to look at. Some movies from that era predicted flying cars by the year 2009 and that in 1997, the entire city of New York would be a prison colony—which brings me to the coolest thing about what the past thought the future would be and that’s how it's presented in movie form. With the advancement of modern technology and filmmaking techniques, our films can bring to life the “world of tomorrow” that was envisioned back in the days of the World’s Fair. Although it’s kind of amusing that we have the technology to create the science fiction of what people believed would now be science fact.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is basically a blended cocktail of a bunch of pulp fiction stories, comic books, old cartoons and “What ifs” from the past set in a alternated 1939 where a fighter pilot hero called Sky Captain must uncover the mystery of some destructive robots terrorizing the world. The story is incredibly simple (and that’s fine) but the true beauty of this film lies in the presentation. Incredibly and absolutely visually appealing, as the film is made to look like an old film serial (kinda fitting with the story). While the movie lacks in the action department, the look the film delivers on the screen really creates a feast for the old eyeballs.
The only real downside to the film is the casting of Gwyneth Paltrow as the reporter Polly Perkins. She’s basically Sky Captain’s Lois Lane. I’ve never been a fan of Paltrow and every role I see her in, she plays the same person but then again, this is seen in nearly every starring role actor. Isn’t that right, Tom Cruise and John Travolta? When the film first starts, she tries to do a sassy, fast-talking reporter type (basically, what was considered acting when the talkies first began) but quickly gives this up in the first five minutes. But can you blame her, she was actually trying to act—it took a lot out of her.
However, old Gwyneth's generic acting is quickly forgotten when she’s backed up by Jude Law as Sky Captain and the very talented Giovanni Ribisi is around playing the Captain’s right-hand man; Dex. Also, deceased actor Laurence Olivier makes an appearance despite the handicap of being dead. That's right, modern technology was able to take archive footage and make him act again. I bet they never though they would see that at the World's Fair! Add that to the beautiful visuals and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is one really entertaining film that I wished I saw in the theaters and didn’t put off until now to see. But that’s what I get for listening to my old roommate who told me it sucked. I should have known because he thinks the Transporter movies are genius.