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Iron Sky: The Coming Race is an Absolute Mess of a Movie

A scene from the 2019 film "Iron Sky: The Coming Race"

Simply put, Iron Sky: The Coming Race is a movie I just didn’t “get.” Granted, I didn’t see the first movie, but even after doing my post-mortem research on Wikipedia I’m still not entirely sure what I watched. Was it supposed to be funny, or have some sort of implied political message, or, you know, make any sense whatsoever? Not only do I not know the answer, I’m pretty sure the filmmakers themselves are in the dark, too.

There’s no denying a lot of hard work went into Iron Sky: The Coming Race. For a movie of its caliber, it actually looks pretty impressive, with set design and CGI I’d easily put on par with Snowpiercer. There’s no denying The Coming Race — with its garish costumes and quirky makeup effects — looks like a multi-million dollar production, but unfortunately, the story just isn’t there. And when I say the story isn’t there, I mean quite literally I’m not sure the movie actually has a plot, or at least one that could be considered coherent in the classical connotation.

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A scene from the 2019 film "Iron Sky: The Coming Race"

Well, at least the makeup effects in “The Coming Race” are pretty neat, I suppose.

OK, brace yourself, this might take a while. So apparently, in the first movie there was a nuclear war amongst lunar Nazis and freedom fighters on Earth — don’t ask, it’s way too long a story, trust me. This sequel picks up a couple of decades later, where the denizens of the moon are now trying to COEXIST with their goose-stepping neo-neo-neo-neo fascist neighbors, which is actually working out a lot better than you’d expect because everybody has converted to a new religion based on the teachings of Steve Jobs — complete with Tom Green serving as the proverbial pope of the Church of Apple. 

You following me here? Good, because at this point, the movie stops making any damn sense whatsoever.

We’re introduced to the new heroine of the franchise, Obi, who is the secret lovechild of the telekinetic heroine from the last movie. Then Udo Kier shows up as the reformed moon N*zi leader who gives the audience all the backstory on how Hitler was actually a half-dinosaur man and the Earth is actually hollow and apparently, all of the really famous leaders throughout human history — from Caligula to Mark Zuckerberg — have all been undercover lizard monsters a’la V.

Well, without giving away the rest of what this movie considers a plot, let’s just say it’s only a matter of time until Genghis Khan, Idi Amin and Vladimir Putin are sitting around the dinner table, The Last Supper style, having Three Stooges slapstick fights and old Adolf H. is roaming around atop a tyrannosaurus in Antarctica. Oh, and the grand finale revolves around two important plot points: the Holy Grail, and … an old Nokia phone with “Snake” preloaded on it. Yeah, don’t even ask.

To say that Iron Sky: The Coming Race is an absolute mess of a movie is an insult to the word mess itself. This feels like a movie where the script was written in crayon in 20 minutes, and they spent $25 million filming all of it. If it’s supposed to be some sort of cornball political comedy, the “humor” in the flick just doesn’t land at all; indeed, with the main villainess of the flick portrayed by a Sarah Palin doppelgänger, the whole movie feels like something that would’ve been stuck at the bottom of a RedBox machine circa’ 2010. 

A scene from the 2019 film "Iron Sky: The Coming Race"

Sadly, Tom Green is never afforded the opportunity to sing “The Bum Bum Song” in this one.

Of course, the movie doesn’t work as a “straight” sci-fi action/adventure, either. The acting is just too hokey and the characters too underdeveloped, and the script itself is just too goofy to make any of the “tense” sequences feel like they matter. On the whole, the acting is passable, but nobody really turns in anything I’d consider a memorable performance — indeed, Tom Green and Udo Kier don’t just look visibly bored in all of their scenes, I’d swear they were both doped up on near-fatal levels of sleeping pills right before the cameras started rolling. 

You don’t really need me to tell you that Iron Sky: The Coming Race is a bad movie. You can take one look at the trailer and figure that out for yourself. But in a year that has been glutted with so many horrible movies where the filmmakers clearly put in minimal effort, this movie stands out as being one of the most passionately sucky flicks I’ve seen in quite some time. To make a movie this spectacularly and extravagantly bad, you no doubt have to invest a lot of time, effort, money and energy, and there’s no denying that director Timo Vuorensola has a lot of pep in his step.

Alas, what this movie really needed was someone behind the scenes to rein in the insanity of the script. Granted, we probably wouldn’t have gotten Casablanca out of the final product, but at least we would’ve ended up with a moderately better movie about lunar N*zis, no doubt. 

WICKED RATING: 4 /10

Director: Timo Vuorensola
Written by: Dalan Musson
Stars: Lara Rossi, Vladimir Burlakov, Tom Green, Udo Kier
Release Date: July 19, 2019
Studio/Production Iron Sky Universe, 120dB Film Finance/101 Films, Scoundrel Media
Budget: $21 Million (Estimated)
Length: 92 minutes
Sub-genre: Sci-Fi, Comedy

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Written by James Swift
James Swift is an Atlanta-area writer, reporter, documentary filmmaker, author and on-and-off marketing and P.R. point-man whose award winning work on subjects such as classism, mental health services, juvenile justice and gentrification has been featured in dozens of publications, including The Center for Public Integrity, Youth Today, The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, The Alpharetta Neighbor and Thought Catalog. His 2013 series “Rural America: After the Recession” drew national praise from the Community Action Partnershipand The University of Maryland’s Journalism Center on Children & Familiesand garnered him the Atlanta Press Club’s Rising Star Award for best work produced by a journalist under the age of 30. He has written for Taste of Cinema, Bloody Disgusting, and many other film sites. (Fun fact: Wikipedia lists him as an expert on both “prison rape” and “discontinued Taco Bell products,” for some reason.)
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