SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW
A throw-back to the old B sci-fi thrillers of the 40's and 50's such as "Invaders from Mars," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," and "War of the Worlds;" with a bit of Buck Rogers sprinkled on top.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow starts off with a lot of cheesy sound and visual effects capturing the feel of the, afore mentioned other films, but slowly becomes more realistic and high tech as the film progresses. It also starts out very much film noir, ala Bogart films such as "The Maltese Falcon" and the like. But the films slowly accelerates, with more "up-to-date," and flashier effects and intense action.
Taking place sometime after World War II, the world is under siege by an unknown threat of strange, seemingly impervious flying machines of different sorts. The government calls upon Sky Captain (Jude Law) to find out where these machines are coming from, and stop them if he can. Tagging along for the ride is Polly Perkins (Gwynneth Paltrow), a reporter dying to get the whole story in the paper. They are led on an adventure around the world fighting machines in his trusty war plane (enhanced with a few special gadgets ala James Bond). Of course along the way, they bicker incessantly and inevitably get themselves into more trouble with their constant banter.
I'm not really going to recommend this film to anyone. It is rated PG, and is OK for the kids, but they won't really get the style and genre of old 40's films, nor do they care. I understand what the director was trying to do, but I thought that it detracted from the overall fun of the film, and kids will think some of the old-school effects are "lame." I did have some fun with the gadgets and fighting sequences, but the whole thing was very cliche of a number of films from Batman to The Mummy, and I was glad when it ended.
End note: Besides the old school film theme, there were several homages to George Lucas as well. Not everyone would pick up on them, but being a die hard fan of the Star Wars series, they stood out to me like a sore thumb. There were several examples. Here are just a couple: "you are clear to land on platform 327;" or 1138 printed clear as day on an important ofice door.
One last thing: if you like video games, check out
"Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge." It's a fun game, and is very
much in the spirit of Sky Captain's airplane sequences; with the same types of planes, zeppelins, and environments.