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Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow review

Geek overdrive. Flash Gordon, Superman, Raiders Of The Lost Ark... Director Kerry Conran has channelled his passion for the past's pulp sci-fi and serial-style adventures into a custom-built, caring recreation of a time long dead. But while the machine looks good, the wiring's shot.

Unleashing marauding mechanicals into a post-war world that reflects and stretches our own, Conran flings Jude Law's flying ace and Gwyneth Paltrow's reporter into battle against an evil genius. Along the way, they'll encounter episode after episode of action: mysterious tribes, dino-beasts and the eerie, floating holographic head of Laurence Olivier.

Sounds exciting, but avid attention to the lush look hasn't been matched with a strong story. Instead, we get a series of stuttering set-pieces, strung together by the most perfunctory plot. Law and Paltrow suffer the phantom menace of acting against bluescreen, never quite convincing they're not just stood on a stage. The world digitally forged around them is visually stunning but sterile. Your eyes may widen at the techno terrors, but the onslaught soon smothers the effect. Tech-heads can chatter about the ground-breaking, cinema-shaking effects of The World Of Tomorrow, but it doesn't engage today.

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