Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

I just got back from watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and
I think that two words would describe this move to a tee, and they are

… Completely Disappointing.

Warning, spoilers ahead.

Warning, spoilers ahead.

Warning, spoilers ahead.

Have you got the picture yet?

The concept had potential, the plot did not.  This movie is
designed to look and feel like a 1930’s style comic book, and it does
that very well.  The problem came about when the plot moved away
from a 1950’s style Superman meets Buck Rogers of the 21st Century and
headed towards something that would appeal to pop culture.


The choice to wash out the color by leaning towards sepia and grey was done wonderfully.

The technique of over blurring the female leads to increase beauty,
developed a long time ago but not used in recent time, was done very

The robots and technology was excellent.

All of the scenes where they actually tried to look like a 1930’s superhero comic were flawless.

Constumes looked very period.



Their attempts to give depth to the characters by discussing the
history between most of the characters failed for many reasons. 
It felt like the director was so eager to show that he had developed
characters that he forgot to write good or appropriate scenes to
discuss those backstories, or constantly pushing it down our
throat.  There were many scenes, up to 45 minutes in my opinion,
that the director could have cut to produce significantly more profound
scenes to develop the characters.

He would get to a point where I would expect that there would be some
character development.  It would be the perfect time to pull back
and give the audience a chance to get to know and understand the
characters, and give the actors a chance to act, but he squandered it
every time by cutting to an action scene.  The scene would start,
the actors would begin to act (when given the chance they did quite
well), my hopes would rise, and then the alarms would go off and
another action scene would take over.  ARGGG!

The plot.  This could have been salvaged about halfway through the
movie.  The first half wasn’t bad, the second half made me want to
walk out on it.  How does Shangri La help forward the plot? 
Or the Tibetian monks?  Or the dinosaurs?  WTF?  I went
to see Sky Captain and the World of TOMORROW, not Sky Captain and the
Lost World. *Twitch* *Twitch*  I don’t want to ruin the HORRIBLE
surprise for all of you at the end of the movie, but all I have to say
is, WHY?  Why, for the love of Darwin’s finches, WHY?

Treating the audience like little children.  Okay, so the techie
managed to pin-point the location.  Does the director really need
to keep showing you that he has that piece of paper?   First
time, cool.  Second time, somewhat necessary.  Third time, it
has now become unnecessary, but yet he shows it ONE MORE TIME. 
This sort of thing happens multiple times.  In some cases he
spends a lot of time specifically pointing out Easter Eggs in his
film.  There were several cases where the director could have left
a wonderful surprise for anyone listening to the commentary track (of
course, that would assume people would buy this piece of…) to see how
much effort he put into a scene.  Unfortunately, HE RUINS EVERY

The dialog needed a lot of work, when there was significant
dialog.  He spent way too much time rehashing the same backstory
the same way, whether it was appropriate or not, in a vain attempt to
get some tension between the main characters, dialog that was
completely negated by the character’s actions.  What was left was
spent trying to explain his reasons for doing his wild goose chase or
adding more characters.  Things he needed to explain he
didn’t.  Things he didn’t need to explain go rehashed over and

Did I mention the repetativeness of the dialog?

I’m okay with some predicatibility, but this went too far on many
occasions.  The main character isn’t going to die, we all know
that.  So why even try to put tension in scenes where he, or she,
is going to be saved by person X is a forgone conclusion?  The
original Batman the TV series did a better job of adding tension during
scenes where Batman could die.  At least with Batman you couldn’t
predict that he actually had Bat Shark Repelant, or Carousel Reversal

Did I mention the repetativeness of the dialog?

I don’t want my money back, I want my time and the brain cells this movie took up.

6 Responses to “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”

I liked it. Not the best movie ever, but not a waste. The cinematography was flawless, I agree (over-blurring, colors washed, shiny robots– all great things).

The plot was like a slightly-lamer Indiana Jones. Which is pretty high praise, since I love Indiana Jones. Just like Indiana Jones- one dimensional characters with hints of backstory that are repeatedly referenced (Indiana’s hat, for instance), ugly foreign friends who are good guys at heart, deceitful female leads… I could go on and on. It’s plot is in the style of Indiana Jones, too– clearly marked, with lots of action scenes to break up any chance for real acting.

The only unnecessary part was Shangri-La. We tracked them here because in CURRENT TIME, there was a powerful radio transmitter there… but wait, it has been abandoned for years, and it’s actually over here. So what was sending the signal? Totally pointless, and never sufficiently explained.

But so pulpy. I rate it near “The Rocketeer”. Fun, but only worth watching once every few years.

Paradoxdruid - September 19th, 2004 at 12:45 am

I feel my comment above skirted around something I was trying to say, without actually saying it. It was written as a resposne to Stephen’s review (thanks for posting the review, btw!). Basically, many of the things Stephen saw as flaws I think were possibly strengths, because they very much established a certain kind of plot and film, which isn’t necessarily “good art”, but can be “good entertainment”.

Paradoxdruid - September 19th, 2004 at 12:47 am

Indeed. Some of those “flaws” establish a certain internal consistency for the film, like the “crap” in The Core (and, yes, The Core was much, much worse than this) did.

Owen - September 19th, 2004 at 2:19 pm

Saturday there’s a “NC Game Day” at NCSU, where they’re playing MB. I’m angling for a UA game, too, but no luck yet.

Owen - September 20th, 2004 at 7:14 am

And yet again you all prove that I have a low-brow taste in entertainment. Expect Munchkin…which all should play.

gilvoro - September 19th, 2004 at 9:18 pm

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