2019 | rated R | starring Lara Rossi | directed by Timo Vuorensola | 1 hr 30 mins |

The 2012 sci-fi/comedy Iron Sky was a big, expensive Finnish movie that beat with the heart of a quirky direct-to-video independent film. It’s high-concept Nazis on the Moon premise was catnip for fans of low-budget camp only to be confronted with a movie that was neither campy or low budget. For once, the crazy premise found on the cover art delivered. While it was better than the goofy SyFy channel originals it looked like, Iron Sky‘s pension for staying in the lines of allowable targets made it feel immediately dated and safe. Even in 2012, Nazis were worn out as movie villains.

The surprise sequel 7 years later, Iron Sky: The Coming Race, with original director Timo Vuorensola returning, takes the original’s craziness and doubles down on it. It’s much more fun movie, actually it’s more fun than the last several Star Wars movies it so effectively emulating.  The opening, featuring an attack by the Moon Nazis that devastates Earth, reminds us that one of the major characters of the first film was President Sarah Palin. Long after this joke was relevant, she’s returned for the sequel. I have to actually admire this series’ commitment to it’s own world building.

7 years after the Nazi’s turned Earth into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the last survivors of mankind retreated to the Nazi Moon Base where our hero Obi (Lara Rossi) – subtle isn’t it – has grown up. A wayward spaceship crash lands on the base which sets Obi and a motley crew on a mission back to Earth, into it’s hollow middle, to face off against the Vril reptilians who have been controlling the planet since the dawn of time. Coming Race is a wacky, cartoonish, blender of actors loosely playing real historical figures, rustbucket sci-fi and dinosaurs. It has a triceratops chariot race in it and Hitler riding a T-Rex. The jokes rarely land, this series is more snarky than funny but the movie is constantly coming up with a wild new set pieces and playing it as straight forward as possible.

The best running joke in Coming Race is the creation of the Jobists, a religion that sprung up in the future moon base based on Apple product obsession. They meet in worship areas the look like apple stores bathed in white and are lead by a man named Donald who is played by Tom Green with a surprising level of understatement.

Obviously styled after and in reference to Star Wars, Coming Race is a lot of fun without being obnoxiously wink-wink-nudge-nudge as these movies tend to be. It’s loony while keeping the reigns on the story stakes. It’s got Hitler riding a T-Rex and a Triceratops chariot race and if that isn’t enough it has a scene in it involving original film star Julia Dietze that… I won’t dare reveal, but it’s kind of like Mila Jovovich jump-kicking a zombie dog in Resident Evil. It’s something I didn’t know I always wanted to see until I saw it.

Iron Sky: The Second Coming is bigger and better than the first film. It’s a silly, somewhat awkward movie where it’s charm, creativity and satirical pokes overcomes what could have been snark and tired Nazi jokes. In a time when Star Wars has become a dark, brooding, bloated, overblown Disney nightmare, it’s a light, breezy antidote. Just like sci-fi pulp should be. With this level of quality I would welcome a third film.