Iron Sky, the sci-fi comedy from director Timo Vuorensola, had its debut screening in Berlin as part of the European Film Market sales event this weekend – and reactions have been surprisingly underwhelming.
Vuorensola’s tale of Nazis hiding out on a moonbase and plotting their return to Earth has been in development for years – and relied on fan funding to eventually reach completion. While the premise of Nazis on the moon makes every fanboy giddy with anticipation, reviewers say the film isn’t funny enough and that Vuorensola and his team don’t seem to have a clear vision as to what they’re trying to achieve. Read on for some of the best quotes from the early reviews.
THR’s review opens in a relatively positive fashion, but then highlights what is to become a recurring theme in most of the critiques published so far.
“There’s a funny premise behind Finnish director Timo Vuorensola’s Nazis-in-space caper Iron Sky, and a confident grasp of sci-fi B-movie lore, with leather trench-coated Third Reich descendants ably subbing for the usual alien threat. There are also far sturdier production values than are generally assembled for this kind of Euro-lark. It’s just too bad the film runs out of comic juice long before its climactic nuclear showdown.”
Meanwhile, Film School Rejects' Cole Abaius is less forgiving of Iron Sky’s shortcomings, declaring “stupid, cheap and aiming above its IQ, this movie is the bad kind of garbage.”
Abaius continues the trend of pointing out the failings of the film’s humor and its lack of focus. “While the absurdity is piled medium high, and a handful of the gags work beautifully, the movie gets so weighed down by a lost focus and its attempted poor man’s political theater that the jokes get fewer, farther between, and facile.”
The critic then closes by adding the following: “Beyond getting stuck on a tired, one-note joke for its second half, the movie is plagued by being average. It never swings for the fences. Had it been offensively bad, it might still have been entertaining. As it stands, it’s so bland that shrugging seems like it would be giving it too much credit.”
Twitch reviewer Brian Clark makes similar observations, including “… probably the biggest problem with the film is that a large amount of the humor is dated, most likely due to its long production timeline (we've been covering its development on this site for nearly five years). This is almost strictly Bush-era satire and it's honestly staggering how irrelevant and stale it all feels today.”
Despite the shortcomings, Clark didn’t hate Iron Sky.
“Really though, Iron Sky is not an unqualified failure. It's got Udo Kier, a moon-base shaped like a swastika, and a sexy, endearing performance by Julia Dietze, so it's certainly not all bad. But Shaun of the Dead it ain't, and at the end of the day, it probably is more fun to talk about the film than actually watch it. The space Nazi movie in your head is probably better than the one on screen.”
Of course, not everyone was down on the film. Mark Adams at ScreenDaily seemed fairly pleased with it, in fact.
“There is a lot of smart sci-fi fun to be had with Iron Sky which nicely blends its comic-book sensibilities with B-movie action. The attack scenes are as good - at times - as those in Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles, and the knowing sexuality and broad un-PC humour slots in nicely with the ludicrousness of Nazi’s driving motorcycles and old Volkswagons across the lunar landscape.”
Adams doesn’t see the film being a breakout hit, but does think that Iron Sky will find an audience. “Genre fans should lap up the film, and while lack of known stars and the fact it is partially subtitled should impact on its ability to break out there is no denying the film’s marketing buzz.”
We’re kind of disappointed to hear that Iron Sky isn’t the instant cult classic we were expecting, but we’ll reserve final judgment until we’ve seen it for ourselves. Things aren’t looking too promising based on the bulk of these early reviews, though.
How do you feel? Are you still interested in checking out Iron Sky or have the early critiques dampened your enthusiasm? Let us know below.