One action-packed film I continue to watch and enjoy is Kerry Conran’s noir-inspired Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow. It’s one of the most enjoyable and creative sci-fi films I’ve seen, but, unfortunately, also one of the most underrated and overlooked.
The film portrays an alternate and advanced parallel version of the United States in the 1930s. It greatly resembles the visions of the future conceived in the comics and films of that time — complete with giant flying robots, an Empire State Building with docking ports for vast zeppelins, and even a massive floating aircraft carrier (which, in terms of pure spectacle, surpasses the one in this summer’s The Avengers).
Without spoiling too much, the plot revolves around the titular Sky Captain, Joe Sutton (Jude Law), who’s investigating mysterious war machines that are attacking the world’s cities to steal power sources, and kidnapping distinguished scientists for unknown reasons.
Along the way, Joe is aided by a reporter and old flame, Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow); a lovable engineer named Dex Dearborn (Giovanni Ribisi); and a tough Royal Air Force commander, Captain Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie).
The story is interesting enough, but to me the film stands out because of it’s unique noir lighting and the gorgeous retro production design — including the ships, robots, costumes, and cityscapes.
Overall, I’d say that the film is a creative and enjoyable piece of science fiction entertainment, and an insight into a view of the future seldom seen in this day and age.
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