A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In SKYCAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, dashing pilot Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Jude Law) and intrepid reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) investigate the disappearance of a group of top scientists and the invasion of enormous robots in this magnificently imaginative tribute to the adventure films of the 1930's. Solving the puzzle -- and saving the world -- takes them from Manhattan to Tibet, from an aircraft landing strip that floats above the clouds to a dynamite-packed abandoned mine and the depths of the ocean. And every bit of it except for the actors, costumes, and a few props, is made from nothing but imagination and pixels.
Is it any good?
The story is an unabashed and un-ironic tribute to the days of cliff-hanger serials. The antagonistic-lover banter benefits from snappy delivery, but it's not quite up to the best of the 30's dialogue. It is not always easy to step back from amazement and admiration for the technology of the film to just enjoy the story. The scenes are superbly imaginative and Conran does more than create arresting visuals. He creates a world with consistent (and very dramatic) light sources and a sense of three-dimensional believability.
Paltrow and Law are fine, as are Giovanni Ribisi as Law's mechanical whiz buddy who gets kidnapped by the robots and Angelina Jolie with an eye-patch as the endlessly sporty Commander Frankie, especially considering that they all spent weeks in an empty room being told to move precisely two feet to the right and then look amazed or resolute.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they would photograph if they only had two shots left. Why? Why would Conran have The Wizard of Oz playing when Polly was at the theater? Why that particular scene? If you could design an entire movie, when and where would it take place and what would it look like? Conran's reported next film will take place on Mars!
- In theaters: September 17, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: January 25, 2005
- Cast: Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
- Director: Kerry Conran
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: sequences of stylized sci-fi violence and brief mild language
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