Saturday, September 12, 2009


Think a steampunk version of Terminator. Also think of lurching from one impossible set-piece action sequence to another, with no attachment to the characters, and little rationale for what's happening, other than that it'll look cool when it does. Why does The Machine make a robot pterodactyl and a robot worm (as opposed to other devices)? See above. Why are these made of cloth and wire, and appear only to be slightly larger than our heroes, when there seems to be plenty of scrap metal everywhere to use in building them? So the heroes will have a chance at defeating them. What is the quest they're on, exactly, except to give spiritual rest to their comrades who fall during the quest?

I think a "good" Tim Burton movie works (like Edward Scissorhands or The Nightmare Before Christmas) when the idea (even if it is just about as simple and straightforward as the one here) somehow sustains 90 minutes worth of plot, and is populated by characters whom we feel sympathy and/or humor for. This one just didn't, even though I suppose "let's put sentient dolls in an apocalyptic landscape that resulted form WWI continuing with steampunk Terminator robots until every human was dead," is no less thin than "let's have people from Halloween Land invade Christmas Land," or "let's have a guy with scissors for hands move into a creepy suburb." The magic wasn't there this time, is all I can summarize it as.


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