Live action Howl’s Moving Castle with more than a splash of…well… everything you have ever seen in any fantasy movie.
Don’t get us wrong, it is a solid enough story and visually it is very pleasing but the story is not very original… tough to do these days, but Star Wars and so many others have been here before.
You may already know the book, if not it is a fairly by the numbers dystopian future with cities on tracks trudging around a shattered Earth. Of course, there is war – the huge machines devouring the smaller ones and everyone hates the ‘stinking rotten samies’ who live in the walled city (static!)| city. Chuck in cyborgs and steampunk aesthetic and a boy meets girl story… you know the rest.
What was interesting to us was the casting and nods to current political climate. London is the enemy, Europe is the badlands and our saviours are in China. The film seems like something made precisely for a Chinese audience too – I doubt they care whether we liked the film or not – it will take lots of money in the far east and with a very family friendly feel, it should breeze past the censors.
If you are 12, maybe it will tickle you but everyone else will find it a bit dull.