So I went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow tonight (once again, though it’s half past two, it is still Friday until I go to sleep). I’d heard pretty mixed stuff about it, and I’m a pretty harsh critic, so I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but I was really underwhelmed.
The good: it has a really well realised look and style. It really conveys an 1890s vision of the 1930s/1940s, and the film plays out as homage to the pulp movies of the 30s.
The bad: it’s utterly vapid. I mean, it’s so shallow you couldn’t drown in it. The absolute definition of style over substance. The acting is wooden, the characters are caricatures, and the much-vaunted new technology is neither new nor impressive. The actors were all filmed in front of a bluescreen, and then composited over CG backgrounds to create the movie. The problem is that it’s nothing even remotely like seamless. There’s a visible disconnect between the actors and the scenes they’re in. And to top it off, a lot of the CG is just bad. Further proof that graphics programmers shouldn’t see CG movies? Maybe. Or maybe crap CG is just crap CG. The story could have been written by a sixth grader – the dialog is so bad it defies description, and the flat, wooden delivery only serves to underscore that fact. Every third line is “witty banter” between Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow – two actors who I normally quite like – but the banter is just so bad that I’m shocked they didn’t storm out of the studio in protest over how stupid they sounded. And how I wish Angelina Jolie would stop using that horrible English accent she adopted for the Tomb Raider movies. She sounds nearly as bad as Dick Van Dyke did in Mary Poppins – “Oh, it’s a luv-er-lee day for a jol-lee hol-lee-day, May-ree Paw-pins!”.
It’s too bad, really. The movie squanders a really great look with a lousy story and horrible dialogue and acting.