"The world is sick. And we are the doctors."
The premise is preposterous, but it will draw curious folks to the theaters: The Nazis have been living on the 'dark side' of the Moon since their temporary defeat in 1945, and have accumulated enough resources to finally strike back at Earth, especially America, so that they could cleanse the planet and re-establish some form of order in a new world to be ruled by the Fourth Reich.
Iron Sky, directed by Finnish director Timo Vuorensola in his feature debut, is a mash-up of elements from different genres as well as popular culture in a film that may be difficult to classify, yet has its strengths firmly rooted in exploring the outrageousness of its subject matter.
Set in the near future that is 2018, Iron Sky is first a political satire, before it turns into an action science-fiction movie that frankly speaking is entertaining only in moments. It is not quite the wacky fun it promises to be, and loses steam past the midway mark as events in the movie get more incoherent.
By incoherence I mean that the picture doesn't have a clear sight of what it wants. It draws references from other films like Star Wars (1977), Dr. Strangelove (1964), even Jaws (1975), and in some ways, Inglourious Basterds (2009), but it never makes any kind of collective sense, just bits and pieces everywhere. It does not know whether to be an all-out parodic affair or trying to be comically reverent to past classics.
The incoherence is not a result of the movie's absurd nature, but the lack of some kind of defining character that keeps the entire picture together. The closest it comes to having such a character audiences can follow and invest interest in is the role played by Julia Dietze, whose exquisite beauty somewhat reminds of Melanie Laurent in the abovementioned Tarantino film.
Dietze's character, Renate, exudes compassion and innocence, and yet despite being a Nazi, she vows to take the side of peace after catching a full version of Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940) on Earth, when she had been previously brainwashed with only a ten-minute footage from the film, just as she brainwashes young Nazi children in her classroom on the Moon.
Iron Sky becomes an offbeat socio-political commentary wrapped up in the spectacularity that the action sci-fi genre offers. The result is some excellent visual effects work (considering the budgetary constraints), a narrative, if any, that is uncharacteristic of any focused form, and some cringe-worthy drama let down by weak dialogue.
The final scene, emblematic of dystopian science-fiction films, is supposed to work out reflectively on the audience's accord, but becomes unintentionally the funniest part of the entire movie. Iron Sky really needs to put on some weight.
Verdict: Intentionally pretentious and parodic, this sci-fi political satire comes out as unintentionally incoherent and weakly-paced.