Editor's note: Jeffrey Overstreet, our regular Film Forum writer, is on vacation. Peter Chattaway is pinch-hitting this week.

Fall may have just arrived, but summer movies are still here! Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow soared to the top of the box office last weekend as it gave audiences one last dose of breezy, action-packed entertainment. The film is a nostalgic thrill ride inspired by 1930s comic books, film noir, pulpy adventure stories and the like, but in its own way, it also looks to the future. Director Kerry Conran has gone further than even George Lucas has ever done in creating a world in which everything but the actors has been generated on a computer. The film stars Jude Law as Joe Sullivan, a mercenary flyboy who battles skyscraper-sized robots and mighty metal flying machines, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Polly Perkins, a reporter hot on the trail of the mysterious Dr. Totenkopf, an evil German scientist whose equally mysterious caped henchwoman is killing scientists one by one.

Christian movie critics, many of whom honed their faith-based appreciation of film on earlier Saturday-matinee revivals such as Star Wars and the Indiana Jones films, have generally welcomed Sky Captain as a fun return to the innocent entertainment of a bygone age.

Todd Hertz (Christianity Today Movies) admits the film may appeal more to "film junkies and adventure geeks" than to moviegoers who don't share his affection for movies with ray guns. "But because it is done well, most audiences will appreciate Sky Captain as a unique, imaginative, and family-friendly adventure story. … What makes the movie's plot work is genuinely witty dialogue, a cast of well-written characters, and surprises that keep the story from being predictable." ...

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