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Finland isn’t well-known for its film industry, but judging by films like Iron Sky, it ought to be. Director Timo Vuorensela’s sophomore effort, the film’s essentials can be summed up by the infamous line from the trailer— ”They’re Nazis… from the moon!”
That’s right. After World War Two, a corps of Nazis escaped from Earth and set up camp on the dark side of the moon. They’ve been biding their time for the last seventy years, waiting to launch an attack on Earth and retake what they lost in the war.
The amazing thing about Iron Sky is that in spite of this absurd plot it takes itself extremely seriously, quite like a deadpan comedian who never acts as though what he says is funny. The film is also very eclectic in its influences—part B-movie, war film, blaxplotation, and political satire (the President of the United States is a thinly-veiled caricature of Sarah Palin).
Is it any good? It’s certainly not boring, though the novelty of space-Nazis wears off by the final act. It’s also very well-made with some stunning special effects, but the acting leaves a lot to be desired and the writers seem unable to decide who the main character is, which limits the audience’s ability to engage with the story.
In light of this, conventional film criticism would probably deem Iron Sky to be sub-par. I don’t think this is fair, though. True, the film takes itself seriously—at no point does it make reference to its own absurdity—but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t still just a big joke of a film. It’s a bigger, more expensive version of those “joke” movies you made with your friends when you were ten years old. Is it fair to attach a serious judgement to a movie that is simply outlandish? See Iron Sky and decide for yourself. It’s worth the price of admission, at least.
The Verdict: This film defies traditional metrics of evaluation.