In 1945, the Nazis fled to the moon to establish a swastika-shaped base and now, 70 years later, they are back to create the superior race they have always dreamt of. Ignoring the obvious plot holes such as how they could possibly have arrived on the moon 24 years before anybody else had the technology to or what they drank since they arrived (even if the moon wasn’t totally void of water, they would have had to invent the Britta Filter to drink it first), we can establish that yes, they are definitely Nazis and yes, they are certainly coming to destroy Earth.
Firmly in B-movie territory, with a shoestring budget and a cast of total unknowns, you require a slightly weightier suspension of disbelief than for a normal movie, but Iron Sky certainly pushes the levels that you would be able to tolerate. The entire American government – which is, as far as this movie is concerned, three people – are bossed by a Sarah Palin lookalike, complete with a stuffed moose in her office, and they’re all equipped with single-digit IQs and a lack of regard for anyone but themselves. There’s little room for character development here and the only part with any arc is Renate, the Nazi wife of the eventual Fuhrer and daughter of an Einstein-looking mad scientist experimenting on a black astronaut who happened to land on the wrong side of the moon.
Surprisingly, the film is rather tasteful, managing to not be offensive to pretty much anyone. Which is, ultimately, a disappointment; with such a ludicrous premise, the reins are being controlled by a director who simply doesn’t understand satire and who has just used Nazis as a pre-made mould for the bad guys, requiring no set-up or backstory and therefore can launch the story into orbit. But even the pace is an issue. After the first half hour, the film trades punches with being excruciatingly dull and being numbingly excruciating, thanks to a script that sounds like the first draft of a school project. The acting reads like a GCSE drama production, which (un)fortunately fits the dire writing.
While almost every part of the production is massively disappointing, the one part which impresses is the visuals. A shoestring budget rarely produces results in the effects department but the exception is here, important in a film that takes place mostly outside our atmosphere. The final battle on earth however dampens the impressive blow as the real background plates are terribly matched with the CGI and the whole piece falls apart. But to be honest, if you get that far without walking out or burning your DVD player then you deserve to see it.
In a film that was marketed in established B-movie territory but with a premise that, with the right hand, could make an A-movie impression, the film misses every single target, failing to be funny or even fun. Long stretches of dull exposition and jarring pacing vastly outweigh the powerful impression that an invading Nazi army could have on Earth. You simply won’t care who wins or loses, so long as the film is over.
Oh yeah, and there’s a scene at the end of the credits. Sorry.