by Arnór Hermannsson Wikström
This movie is what happens when a creator has no faith in their art. My main problem with the first Iron sky movie was that it didn’t take itself seriously. I didn’t mind it being a comedy, even though the teasers had promised a much more serious tone, but it seemed to me as if the creators of the film had so little faith in their subject matter that they buried the film under a layer of silliness, just so they could vindicate themselves by saying ”I know it’s dumb! It’s supposed to be dumb!”
However, Iron Sky did gather a cult following, and a sequel was very much in demand by its fan base, so the crowdfunding began anew, and with a bigger budget and more reason to believe in themselves, Iron Sky: The coming Race was grinded out.
This film took five years to make. The first teasers dropped in 2014. I went in to the theater hoping to see that the creators had used this time wisely, smoothing out the crinkles and making a solid story.
Not only does Iron Sky: The Coming Race not believe in itself, it seems positively ashamed of its own existence. The scenes are played out with such camp and tomfoolery it sometimes feels like you’re watching a children’s show with gore. No scene is played straight, they all feel like they’re desperately winking at the camera to remind us that they know they’re making a stupid film, and a problem with the film having taken so long to make is that the reference humor is so dated it’s gone sour. The film opens with a scene of an american president who is clearly modelled on Sarah Palin, and that just feels weird, since it’s been eleven years since she ran for vice president alongside John Mccain, a race that they famously lost, which makes you ask the question ”Why are you reminding us of a person we haven’t given a shit about for over a decade?”
The film’s scenes seem to fluctuate in budget. Some scenes look like they’re from a low budget kids’ show, others look positively stunning, look out for a great scene with lizard Hitler riding a T-Rex named Blondi (which was the actual name of Hitler’s german shepherd).
There’s a scene in a cockpit, when the heroes are crashing to earth, where the two main characters play off of each other nicely, but where the filmmakers seem to have completely forgotten that there are actually supposed to be four other people on board.
Anyway… the film also suffers from the wooden acting of its leads, especially since it’s trying to pass itself off as a screwball comedy, and none of the lead actors have any comedic talent. Main protagonist Obi, played by Lara Rossi, is a straight-faced no-nonsense action movie type that sadly feels out pf place in a film where she should’ve been perfect, had it been handled correctly.
The great Udo Kier does his best, and his returning Moon-Führer narrowly saves most of the scenes he’s in, but sadly that’s not his only part in this film.
He also plays a lizard Hitler, and seems to lose his mind completely in that getup, as if the concept itself is so weird that he desperately needs to overreact to keep up with all the silliness going on around him.
One of the best characters in the film is a stone-faced cult leader played by Tom Green, who surprisingly gives the most serious performance of the entire film. Green plays every scene with real presence and gravitas, being remarkably funny with his deadpan delivery.
What takes you out of the film the most is not the acting, or the dated references, silly humor, or sometimes pathetic CGI. It’s the script. Especially the back story.
The only thing Iron Sky: The Coming Race has to stand on is a pretty weak previous film that still works if you’re willing to look past its most glaring faults, but the sequel adds background details that pretty much retcon the entire story of the first film, making the connection between the two movies nonsensical and fragile, so much so that it comes off as a completely stand-alone film that just so happens to star some of the same characters.
It’s almost as if the creators of this film decided to throw so much stuff into the mix that you would be too confused to see that they had made a bad film.
But that is ultimately what Iron Sky: The Coming Race is. A bad film. In almost every sense of the word.
Sure, there are some funny jokes, some memorable scenes, and at least two very hard working actors doing their best to carry the whole mess, but it’s just not worth watching the rest of the film to get those things.
One of the funniest scenes in the film is the sequel tease at the end. Expertly executed and exciting, but since it arrives at the end of a complete disaster of a film, you really just hope they leave it at that, that don’t ruin any more potentially great subjects.
This film being made relied heavily on the crowd-funding by fans of the first film, and it would have been nice if it appeared to take its fans seriously. Instead it comes off as a virtual slap in the face of those who donated to it. Why would you want to give any more money to artists who are not going to take your donation seriously?
No more Iron Skies, please. You just can’t pull it off.
1.5 lizard Hitlers out of five possible. Not even the music of Slovenian art music group Laibach could save this flailing mess.