Sarah Palin is going to cause the Apocalypse. Not only is she worse than the Nazis, she appropriates their twisted message of peace into her campaign slogans. And as the nuclear warheads fly about the world during Iron Sky‘s Dr. Strangelove style end credits, we realize that this is how things were meant to be. Five years from now in 2018, everything that this movie presents will be fact. America will destroy the world by electing a penisless leader in 2016. We just cannot handle it as a country.
It’s been a good ride, though. 237 years of decreasing personal freedom and increasing federal power have led us to a place where the world of 1984 no longer seems impossible, but merely 29 years early. Much like the Party in that classic novel, our betters have no intention of making the world a better place through their endless wars, their invasions of privacy, and their destruction of the average American’s ability to work for a living. I also blame them for Alex Trebek shaving his moustache years ago. Why must every source of happiness in our lives be systematically eradicated? Why?
After rereading 1984, I found the answer: because they can. The object of power is power. The object of making shitty movies is making shitty movies. Deal with it. And all across America, a voice echoes down from on high, consisting of two words that summarize the totality of the American experience: “Fuck you.” There is no utopia being worked towards and no light at the end of the tunnel. Our betters make shitty movies and inflict them upon us because they can, because we can do nothing to stop them, and because they know we can do nothing to stop them. That is the American experience today.
Now, let me be clear. I’m not talking about Iron Sky when I talk about shitty movies. Iron Sky is actually pretty awesome. No, I was referring to the cinematic atrocity I witnessed last night titled Star Trek: Into Darkness. Oh, what an exciting journey that was. It was like Schindler’s List for sci-fi geeks. Just painful and depressing to watch. In response to J.J. Abrams’ shots fired, I’ve decided to write a combo review of both films. I mean, why not? Everything sounds like a good idea when you’ve got “Susie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival cranked on your laptop.
So, in case you missed it, Star Trek XII is an alternate timeline take on Star Trek II. Yes, even though they already ripped off Wrath of Khan in Nemesis, and lifted the revenge theme in the last Star Trek film, they felt the need to rip it off for the third time in a row and also go one step further by having Khan actually appear in the film. Before I watched the movie, I asked myself: how can there be a Wrath of Khan when Khan has no wrath? He meets the crew of the Enterprise for the first time in the alternate timeline in this film! After watching the film, I had my answer: they can’t. In their defense, they made a different story with some callbacks to Star Trek II rather than a direct ripoff like Nemesis. But this just raises the question: why even have Khan in the movie, then? What the fuck?
If you’re going to lift things from the old movies, it should be the important things, like Valkris’ cleavage from the opening of Star Trek III. I’m tired of The Wrath of Khan. I don’t mean that I’m tired of the movie itself; the first four Star Trek films are all still classics. But I’m tired of the endless references to Wrath of Khan in Star Trek movies. Can we just move on, please?
We can’t move on. We’re trapped in nostalgic admiration of the past. We have no new ideas, so we just endlessly mimic the success of others. This is what we tell ourselves. But we do not lack creativity; they do. The people making the new Star Trek movies are the problem. Not us. Not me. I have many problems and issues, but I did not make Star Trek: Into Darkness. Much like the fact that I did not perpetrate the Holocaust, that makes me better than many other people just by default.
On the other side of things, we have Iron Sky. This is a movie that posits the existence of a secret Nazi base on the far side of the Moon. They have been living in seclusion for nearly 70 years, mining Helium 3 for their energy source while never advancing their understanding of computers past the 1950’s. An American expedition to the Moon goes horribly wrong when it encounters their secret base, and the black man on the mission is captured as the sole survivor. What follows is a touching story wherein Renate, the blonde Nazi girl engaged to the next Fuhrer, must slowly realize her desire to be penetrated by the obsidian scepter of tolerance. Also, the mad Nazi doctor turns the black guy into a white guy for half the movie. Now this is pod racing a retarded sci-fi film! If you’re going to make something stupid, just go all out with it. The Europeans don’t fuck around.
I had the impression during large portions of Star Trek XII that the creators actually thought they were making something intelligent. They should have followed Iron Sky‘s lead. Compare the part where Renate’s uniform blows open as she is almost sucked out of an airlock, leaving her with her underwear exposed, to the part in Into Darkness where Dr. Wallace Marcus stands around in her bra and panties and admonishes Kirk for looking at it. It was as if she was admonishing the audience for looking at it. Why take your clothes off, then? Who is making this shit? Iron Sky does not criticize us for enjoying its juvenile hijinks. It engages in them without shame. It’s honest about its mission: sex jokes, Nazi jokes, political jokes, race jokes, Nazi flying saucers blowing things up, and taking potshots at both North Korea and Finland. I’m not European, so I don’t get the Finland thing, but at least the movie didn’t apologize for making fun for Finland. It just happened, and then they moved on.
The plot of Iron Sky revolves around the Nazi’s plan to use the computing power of cell phones (which are supercomputers compared to their ancient tech) to power the “Gotterdammerung”, which is their ultimate spaceship/weapons platform. The next Fuhrer travels to Earth with his fiance Renate, the white black guy Washington, and some other random Nazis. They meet up with Sarah Palin’s oversexed public relations manager and end up writing her re-election campaign speeches. The next Fuhrer plots against the current Fuhrer while having an affair with the PR manager, Renate learns that the Nazis aren’t all about peace, love, and understanding, and everything concludes with a giant space/moon dogfight that comprises the last half hour of the film. Also, the Nazi base on the Moon is in the shape of a swastika. Yes, this movie is pretty awesome. Fair warning, though: it’s awesome to me. My taste may or may not be suspect.
The best part of Iron Sky is seeing a European take on American politics and foreign policy. Everything that I personally find embarrassing about America is on display, cranked up to ridiculous levels and contrasted with the evil of the Nazis. Palin’s self-absorption and general shittiness towards all the other countries in the UN is hilarious. While the actress’ portrayal is not quite on par with Lisa Ann’s, she makes up for it by fully embracing Palin’s (and the contemporary GOP’s) lunacy. Not that the Democrats are any better, but Obama seems to be going for executions without trials rather than full-blown invasions of foreign countries. Iron Sky focuses on the latter, while Into Darkness focuses on the former.
Yes, a large portion of Star Trek XII deals with the morality of killing a man without a trial. They don’t actually do it, but there is considerable discussion on the topic. It’s all about the War on Terror and Obama. It’s all about the hawks in the government destroying everything we stand for to protect our way of life. I guess this is why many critics overlooked its glaring flaws. I don’t know. I commend the movie for actually standing with the Star Trek tradition and not having our heroes kill the bad guy like the Next Generation movies did, but it just isn’t enough to justify everything else in my (poorly thought out and completely irrelevant) opinion. I mean, the Enterprise flies through the atmosphere of a Class M planet like a shuttle for Christ’s sake!
Before I get too off track, let me talk about the standout performance of Iron Sky: Palin’s PR manager. She sleeps with everyone, swears profusely, and is the most ruthless and cunning adversary seen in a motion picture in some time. She is the Khan of this film, and like Into Darkness’ Khan, she lies somewhere in the realm between hero and villain. Not above offering to perform fellatio to save her life, she ends up commanding America’s flagship, the U.S.S. George W. Bush, during the final space dogfight. Unafraid of trivialities like civilian casualties, she unloads nukes at the Moon Nazi base without hesitation or judgment. Really, she needs to be the villain in the next Star Trek movie. Who else did you have in mind, guys? Sybok?
The space dogfight is a thing of beauty, by the way. Giant Nazi space zeppelins unload flying saucers while the George W. Bush teams up with all the other countries’ secret space warships and fires laser beams and missiles everywhere. It’s like the whole Internet “pirates vs. ninjas” thing from a few years ago, except not stupid. Or perhaps it’s just the right kind of stupid. I mean, why not have the Nazis invade the Earth with flying saucers? It’s no less ridiculous than the fact that Sarah Palin was actually on the ticket in 2008. When reality itself is this insane, anything goes in the world of movies.
So, anyway, it’s time to bitch about the scientific inaccuracies in the new Star Trek movie. Besides the aforementioned “Enterprise flying about like a shuttle” bit, there’s a hilarious moment early on where Khan teleports from Earth to the Klingon homeworld using a “portable trans-warp beaming device”, or something like that. If you have transporters capable of warping you across planets, why do you even need starships? I don’t know. There’s also a moment towards the end where the Enterprise’s power goes out and it starts freefalling from orbit directly towards the Earth. I can’t even articulate my feelings about this. And can someone explain to me why the warp core needs to be “aligned” and active in order to fire the thrusters? I’ll admit that I’m more of a casual Star Trek geek and I don’t remember much about the warp core other than matter/antimatter reactions and dilithium crystals, but what the hell is going on, here? Did the world go insane, or did I?
I know what you’re going to say. It’s just a movie, and I need to calm down. Well, I’m not calming down. It’s bad enough that they redesigned the warp core from the towering blue pillar to the beer brewery tanks, but I can’t accept this bullshit where Kirk kicks the bottom half of the “warp core” so the two halves line up and a laser beam fires between them. Iron Sky has ridiculous science, but it is a comedy about Nazis living on the Moon. Star Trek is supposed to at least try to be scientific. I know all that already went out the window years ago, but I’m still going to whine about it. I’m not angry; I’m just disappointed. I mean, why would a Federation ship be unable to catch up to you when you’re at warp speed? Can’t the other Federation ship also travel at warp speed? Aren’t there different warp levels anyway? Who is writing this stuff?
Also, I don’t get why Uhura speaks Klingon perfectly here, while her alternate reality version half-asses it in Star Trek VI. Really, this is the question that lingers in my mind more than any of the others, even more than the question I have about the cat-like girls only having two breasts. Why? I don’t understand. Also, I think I’m insane. I may have just found my definitive proof.
By contrast, Iron Sky did not send me into such nerd convulsions. It also understands how to get to the point. America is crazy because even though the Moon Base is full of Nazis, they nuke innocent women and children who are living there. The Nazis are crazy because they hate everyone who isn’t white and they are dumbfounded by smart phones. There is no grand speech at the end about our need to maintain integrity in the face of threats to our way of life. It ends with an interracial kiss and an acknowledgement that education is the path towards tolerance, acceptance, and a better life. Then it pans all the way out from the Earth and the Moon to Mars during the credits. DA DA DUM!!!!
Iron Sky is ridiculous, but I loved every minute of it. I mean, the Germans, man. The Germans. I can’t believe I’m descended from these people. There may be nothing German about me left aside from my surname, and I find myself mystified by their language, but I still feel some connection to them. It must be our shared love of David Hasselhoff.
I think I’ve said enough. Perhaps I’ve even said too much. Let’s just hype ourselves up for Iron Sky 2: The Wrath of Palin and brace ourselves for Star Trek: Now We’re Fighting Kruge!. Uhura is going to do the fan dance from Star Trek V in both films. And we’re all going to watch both of them. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. We cannot help ourselves, and thus, God cannot help us. When all is said and done: we’re on our own.