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Iron Sky: The Coming Race (2019), where Super Mario Bros. (1993) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) meet a kooky Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Xena: Warrior Princess in this over-the-top Sci-Fi space-Nazi sequel

August 20, 2019

MY CALL: It doesn’t measure up to Iron Sky (2012), but what movie ever could? This sequel strikes me as distinctly inferior, yet still definitely worth the time of any fan of part 1! MORE MOVIES with NAZI VILLAINS: After first seeing Iron Sky (2012), one may move on to Dead Snow (2009), Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead (2014), Overlord (2018), Hellboy (2004), Inglorious Bastards (2009), Green Room (2015), Yoga Hosers (2016), Manborg (2011), Zombie Lake (1981), Oasis of the Zombies (1982), The Keep (1983), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Frankenstein’s Army (2013), Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991), Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003), Puppet Master: Axis of Evil  (2010), Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012) and Puppet Master: Axis Termination (2017).

Disclaimer: Screener access was provided by a PR group. However, I was not paid or compensated to write this nor were there any conditions to my receiving viewing access other than my solicited review.

IMDB Summary: “Less than 30 years after a nuclear war ravaged the Earth, what’s left of humanity lives in a crumbling base on the Dark Side of the Moon, but they can’t survive here much longer. The Moonbase’s leader finds a glimmer of hope: an ancient map pointing into the Hollow Earth. Now a Russian pilot and her best friend venture to the center of the ruined planet to face the army of dinosaurs guarding humankind’s last hope for salvation: the Holy Grail.”

During the awesomely scored opening credits, we pick up right where Iron Sky (2012) left off: with the Earth at war with space Nazis and the new discovery that our Palin-esque President (among others) is some sort of reptilian humanoid in disguise. Immediately I’m gleefully reminded of the nonsensically hilarious Super Mario Bros. (1993)! In some not-so-eloquent backstory, we learn that our Nazis originated from reptilian shape-shifting aliens that crash-landed on Earth, domesticated dinosaurs, created mankind, and manipulated humans through historic influencers and political leaders. Whereas this sequel seems notably lower in overall quality than its predecessor, its ambitious mania continue to entertain with sheer lunacy. There’s a lot going on here…

The imagery, sets, wardrobe and shots intermix classic imagery harkening Star Wars (1977), Equilibrium (2002) and The Matrix (1999). You’ll be reminded of Jedi Knights and the Millennium Falcon, mentally conditioned religions, the city of Zion, and even some Engineer-ish creationism from Prometheus (2012). Providing cultish neo-spiritual enlightenment is cyber-evangelist (Tom Green). And like a cape and cowled Sith Lord, our favorite Moon Fuhrer (Udo Kier; Mother of Tears, Halloween, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich) returns to infiltrate his former lair.

Returning to combat these moon Nazi aliens are American astronaut James Washington (Christopher Kirby; Daybreakers, Predestination, The Matrix: Reloaded/Revolutions), Nazi schoolteacher-turned ant-Nazi revolutionary Renate (Julia Dietze), and her daughter Obi (Lara Rossi; Robin Hood).

The action and creature effects carry a very Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001) vibe, but with a significant technological upgrade. And scenes with more creatures and/or people in make-up will have some filler-extras with notably more basic creature costumes. But I find it all forgivable. This film knows exactly what it is, it embraces its silliness, and it aims as high as it can (even over-reaching a bit) with its budget. In fact, this sequel feels notably sillier and less straight-faced than its 2012 predecessor. But whereas 2012 had cityscapes and then CGI moonscapes, this sequel also has the center of the Earth—which offers a diversity of set design, costuming styles, and creatures to encounter in this new world. So while this sequel is bigger, it has so much in it that it occasionally feels far less manicured—or, if we’re being honest, more gnarly.

For much of its running time it bears more the tone and often silly dialogue of a SyFy channel mini-series—or, as mentioned before, something like Xena or Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999). But it’s also more energized, zany and fun—though not necessarily as “good” as scenes are littered with CGI dinosaurs and Babylon 5-ish (1994-1998) races.

Its high point is when we see alien ReptiliHitler riding a T-rex into the Nazi moonbase! Now this is the kind of ridiculous fun I signed up for with this movie! And what a relief that the CGI quality of this scene was much better than that allotted for all the center of the Earth denizens and guard dog-ish dinosaurs.

Ultimately, this was every bit as fun as Iron Sky (2012)—although a hokier and more distracted silly sort of film. But whichever you like more of the two, its strong suit is that it is a completely different kind of movie in tone, story and execution. All too often sequels are more of the same. Absolutely not the case with The Coming Race.

This may sound like a big B-movie, but it’s more like a B+ movie… and supercharged. Director Timo Vuorensola has developed a zany idea into something so much more than its silly premise. Keep an eye out for part 3!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2019 2:44 am

    It’s worth it just to see Hitler riding a dinosaurlol

    • John Leavengood permalink
      August 22, 2019 6:41 am

      That scene in the trailer probably sold a lot of people on the film! Great scene.

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