Cert 12A 128mins Stars 3

The latest blockbuster from the makers of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is surprisingly clunky and run of the mill as it rumbles across the big screen.

Adapted from a series of books by Brit author Philip Reeve with tremendous design and faultless CGI, it’s a steampunk sci-fi fantasy epic set 1000 years into the future on an apocalyptic Earth.

European cities are now ginormous armoured vehicles which prey on smaller mechanical towns for scarce materials such as fuel and salt.

However this inspired premise is crushed beneath the wheels of the misfiring storytelling which has clanking dialogue and no sense of time or distance while the comedy and romance barely register.

Icelandic actress Hera Hilmar does her best as an orphaned outcast intent on murdering Hugo Weaving’s duplicitous patrician, while he’ll stop at nothing to drive London to a brighter future.

Despite the actors determined efforts to provide emotional fuel, they’re too often squandered as grist for the towering spectacle.

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