Saturday, September 21, 2013
Unfortunately, Paramount's decision to dump it in September 2004 with a baffling marketing campaign pretty much sealed its box-office doom. This is really too bad because writer-director Kerry Conran is much better at creating a digital movie-world than most famous directors have proven to be. The whole thing makes Georges Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy look visually dim-witted by comparison.
There's real character and charm in the designs, and in the performances by Gwyneth Paltrow as crusading reporter Polly Perkins and Jude Law as private air-hero Sky Captain, with a nice, relatively straightforward supporting performance from Giovanni Ribisi as gadgeteer Dex.
Along the way, the film drops into a number of locales that allude to forebears such as the 1930's film version of Lost Horizon, any number of Lost Worlds and Skull Islands, the Krell world-machine from Forbidden Planet, Thunderbirds, and brief visual homages to the 1930's King Kong and to the original Godzilla. All in all, it's swell. Highly recommended.