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Mortal Engines, or The Peter Jackson Steampunk Movie, as I’ve been calling it, adapts the first in Philip Reeve’s four-part YA fantasy series, first published in 2001. Produced by Jackson and directed by frequent collaborator Christian Reeves, it’s set in a distant, dystopian future, and goofily imagines the geography of planet Earth rearranged, with mobile “predator cities” such as “London” feasting on rural towns and villages (Howl’s Moving Castle seems a reference point here). London’s captain, Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving), is covertly building a nuclear weapon inside St Paul’s Cathedral. Orphaned bandit Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) seeks Valentine for personal revenge, aided by historian Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan, curls mercilessly straightened) and sunglasses-wearing outlaw Anna Fang (Korean popstar Jihae). Hester, in turn, is hunted by an undead robot named Shrike (Stephen Lang).
The film’s critiques are unimaginative, tutting at how territories attack first in order to consolidate power, as well as the spectacle of war itself, bystanders crowding the balconies of the ship-like city, shrieking as guns and lasers fire at the wastelands below.
Source: The Guardian
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