Iron Sky is a movie that I had been excited to see ever since I saw the first trailer. The premise was brilliant, the visuals looked great (for a crowd-sourced film), and it looked like it could be a clever satire. However, upon seeing the film, I'm fairly disappointed to say that the film isn't that great from a comedic standpoint and barely has enough story to carry itself.
The bare basic premise is about Nazis on the moon who are now deciding to invade Earth. We follow our two main protagonists, one of who is an African who has been transformed into an Aryan by the Nazis and another who is a female Nazi Teacher who has plans to marry the upcoming Fuhrer. At the same time there is a sub-plot about the President of the United States working with Nazis to boost her popularity and to become a wartime president, and the secretary of defense being madly in love with the upcoming Fuhrer.
On paper, this sounds like it could be a witty satire. You have the discussion of race, the silliness of Nazi teachings, the issue with the U.S. being obsessed with war for power, and many other such topics. However, none of these are done particularly well as the story can't focus on which story is important and which one is not important. Many little sub-plots will pop-up out of nowhere and last for only 30-60 seconds only to never be brought up again. Most of the plot is made up of clichés (which can work in comedies if done correctly. Every Mel Brooks film is a compilation of clichés), but it never really does anything with those clichés. In one instance, our two protagonists need to fly a spaceship, but they don't know how to operate it. The plot stops dead in its tracks for about 10 seconds before they figure it out. This is a cliché that is used in Independence Day and many other films, but there is no reason for it to be thrown into the plot unless it is used for comedic purposes. Unfortunately, the movie is full of brief moments like this that don't forward the plot and only exist to make the movie feel more like a movie. To make matters worse, the movie isn't really funny.
This is probably the biggest sin of the movie. If a comedy isn't funny then it just becomes boring. The style of humour in this movie seems to be premise over execution. Two Nazis and an African man who has been made Aryan go into an urban neighborhood to steal a Volkswagon (Nazi tech) where they run into a bunch of African Americans. Funny premise, but bad execution. The POTUS uses Nazi propaganda techniques to gain power while on the verge of fighting Nazis. Funny premise, but completely on the nose and poorly executed. This movie has so many good beginnings for jokes, but doesn't know how to make them funny. A great instance of this is in the ending of the film where all of the nations' leaders are brawling each other after having defeated the Nazis (much like in real-life after WWII) and it is all in slow-motion to show "the chaotic nature of politics" or something deep like that... but that has been done before. You can't just throw something into slow- motion, play some ironic music, and say "wow, this is both deep and funny."
And this brings me to the last main issue with the movie: It thinks it is more clever than it really is. Don't get me wrong, Space Nazis (While done many times before) is done really well this time from a visual standpoint. But there are many times during the movie where the plot seems to pause to let the audience realize how "crazy and ironic this world is" and let people "reflect upon how this relates to us in the modern world". The movie doesn't do this too often, but there is just this overall tone that carries itself throughout the picture.
All in all, Iron Sky is an impressive feat from a development standpoint, but isn't very great as a comedy or as a political satire. However, I will give the creators credit for predicting the tone of the 106 election before it actually happened.