I started reading Philip Reeve’s Predator City series last year, on the strength of the Mortal Engines trailer that was making the rounds at the time. The books are absolutely brilliant, and almost a year later, we have the first movie delivered by Peter Jackson protege, Christian Rivers.
When you wait so long for a film to appear, you start to worry if it can be possibly as good as you want it to be; if the movie is based on a favourite book then the sense of apprehension doubles. Things get worse if you can only make the 3D showing …
So what was it like? Well, as you’d expect, it was a bit like The Hobbit for Steampunk fans …
I really am in two minds about this film. I liked … no, I loved the first one, and I say this as someone who’s never read a single book of the Harry Potter series.
I have to say though, I did struggle a bit with The Crimes of Grindelwald. On paper, this should’ve been a corker of a movie: Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, a massive budget for sets and special effects … this thing should have been stratospheric, and to be honest, the opening sequence was fantastic – like James Bond, but with wizards.
And yes, the special effects were excellent and the sets and the costumes and the acting were spectacular, but the whole adventure was let down by a story that seemed to be suffering a multiple personality disorder.
This was always going to be a tricky one. Bohemian Rhapsody has stumbled and tripped its way to the big screen after one or two well-publicised setbacks (the main one being Sacha Baron Cohen quitting the film over creative differences). I think the glacial gestation has, unfortunately, caused a few problems with the final result: the pacing was uneven, the editing a little strained in places, and I thought that some of the segues used to jump us through time were a little naff in places, and MIA in others.