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The Final Word | Thursday, 18 January 2018
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Written by Mark Reed  
Wednesday, 06 October 2004
Calling All Geeks, Calling All Geeks......You're gonna love this.Because they still make'em like this anymore. Shallow, razor-thin characters, monster robots, and your Average Plan to Destory The World.


Sky Captain..., being a film which, bar the actors, is a film made entirely of CGI, is a technical masterpiece. And, as far as action movies go, it's certainly smarter, faster, and more joyous than your average piece of cineplex bullshit. Shame then, that despite all it's excellence, it's still missing a heart. It's got no soul.


But who needs soul in a world of outlandish 40's setpieces, old fashioned silver rocketships, airbrushed, soft-focus huge robot monsters, and whee-whizz bang effects? Sure. Sky Captain is certainly a superior action movie, and I wish they made more films that weren't MTV-porn for nu-metal-rap motorbike chases, but hey, when you demand the impossible, sometimes a merely Great Action Film isn't ^quite^ enough. But's its good enough for now.


The characterisation is thin, all derring-do and quips, fuel-pipe cutting spurned women, absurd gadgets, your typical plucky boffin, your average female reporter, but it's effective. You know only what you need to know, and no more. It truly is a comic book made flesh : there's no attempt to humanise the Sky Captain, or make him a rap-loving, tortured genius trying to get the girl. The Sky Captain already got the girl, and more than one at the same time. The cad is a cardboard cut-out cliché, but one who, more than that, simply is. Jude Law plays him as an utterly believable, smart, but straight-forward action movie hero : you never doubt that the Sky Captain is real, and more than that, is not some whiny self-doubting kid in the body of a hero. He is an alpha male, but with brains. Angelia Jolie meanwhile, acquits herself as a cypher of a character, but again, one who certainly feels as if she could be real, which is miles beyond the Lara Croft tragedy that saw her acting talents as underutilised as a eunuch in a whorehouse.


Overall, the film does feel like an extended piece of FMV ("Full Motion Video", you luddites) transplanted from a computer game, and, it's thin but intruiging plot - which is obviously a McGuffin designed to propel setpieces - can be dismissed as mere fluff, but you will never be bored by it.


In the meantime, enjoy it for what it is. Your above average, literate, smart, and fun blockbuster. In a world of bland Vin Diesel movies and disappointing franchise fansploitation rip offs (Leatherface vs Daredevil 2 The Extreme, anyone?), Sky Captain is a bolt of fresh air, a influx of new blood in a tired genre of stagnant, fetid, disappointing action movies where the only muscle that counts is the size of the CGI's processor.


Sky Captain is the type of film that you should go and see now, if only to send a message to Hollywood to stop polluting the world with crap CGI car-fests and instead aspire to making great films again. Sky Captain is not a great film, but it's certainly the blockbuster of the summer, and one that shits from a great heights upon most action films of recent times. If the world of tomorrow is the shape of the movies of tomorrow, I will not be disappointed.



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