Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Kerry Conran, computer geek turned first-time writer and director, puts actors in front of a blank screen and fills in the rest digitally. Problem One: The actors, including Jude Law as Sky Captain and Gwyneth Paltrow as his sassy reporter-love, look lost. Only Angelina Jolie, as an eye-patched pilot, doesn't seem to mind as the of two Lara Croft epics, she's used to acting in a vacuum. Problem Two: The plot is a World War II-era cut-and-paste job that raids Steven Spielberg's Lost Ark and steals at will from the classic movie serials. Robots invade New York. Law's hero must save the world and find Dr. Evil, here Dr. Totenkopf. Problem Three: Laurence Olivier, who died in 1989, has been cruelly resurrected from old films to play Totenkopf. Yuck. Problem Four: The dialogue is corny beyond the excuse of homage. "You won't need those high heels where we're going," says Law to Paltrow. Problem Five: It's a gimmick, it's not a movie.

From The Archives Issue 256: January 12, 1978