The film “Chronicles of Predatory Cities”, released in Russian hire on 10 days earlier than in the US, confidently took the lead last weekend.
First of all, Peter Jackson, who filmed “The Lord of the Rings,” will not offer nonsense as a producer. Secondly, in the world of sour cinema franchises, where Star Wars, Fantastic Beasts and Avengers are disappointing, the appearance of a completely new magical world and plot is always attractive. Well, thirdly, given the ugly Skripale case experienced this year, is it not funny to hear the phrase “We must destroy London before he destroyed us” and watch the special operation against the spire and the dome of the famous “London Cathedral”?
In the industry of modern blockbusters, two lobbying groups seem to be fighting. English and Chinese. One glorifies the power of the good old British Empire, which alone could keep our world in fair condition: here and Transformers 2017, and Wonder Woman, and walking in the next halls with the Predatory Cities, absolutely Nutcracker Russophobic. The second glorifies the wise and ancient, but powerful and technically advanced China, which for some reason finds itself in the cinema as a stronghold of militant feminism - it suffices to recall the Great Wall 2016 of the year or the Pacific Rim of it.
The Chronicles of Predatory Cities is not only a film that is frankly pro-Chinese — symbolizing Celestial, the League of Opponents of the Movement is, in fact, China, and it is inhabited by the Chinese, so also frankly anti-British. In the endless wastelands of post-apocalypse, the monstrous London rides on giant caterpillars, which devours the small nomadic towns found on its way. Right, Britain, Deserts! Residents of the city, dressed in the fashion of the heyday of the British Empire, are joyfully watching from the observation deck another hunt for small towns that survived in devastated Europe (such a way of life: “eat your neighbor until you have devoured you,” is called “municipal Darwinism”). The predatory city is crowned with the Cathedral of St. Paul, where terrible weapons are made, and the aristocracy lives around it, who despises the common people working below.
London and its similar predator cities, among which are, incidentally, the Arkhangelsk symbolizing Russia, are opposed by the Chinese League of opponents of the movement, fenced off from the predator cities invading the Great Wall. It is difficult to create a more transparent metaphor. Globalist transnational financial elites are “new nomads,” as their futurologist Alvin Toffler called them, living according to the principle “die today and I will tomorrow,” against defenders of a settled civilization, traditional territorial statehood with a producing economy and defensive walls.
The Chronicles of Predatory Cities turned out to be a frankly anti-globalist film — the trace of the ambiguity of the series of novels by the Englishman Philip Riva “Death Machines”. In the original, there were absolutely no odious heroes and villains - gloomy Valentine was a rather complicated person with ideas. Here, in the film, everything is clear: under the British "Union Jack" lies the aggressive evil of "municipal Darwinism", and behind the Chinese wall under the red flags and sails of airships lies peace, harmony and respect for life.
The film belongs to the genre of steampunk. So, there are a lot of steam engines, airships, spinning gears, funny bowlers and long raincoats on men (ladies, however, for some reason without crinolines). You will love you. Sometimes, for the sake of the beauty of the frame, the authors of the film forget that it is impossible to just stand on the open area of the airship flying at an altitude of 5 thousands of kilometers, and calmly talk with your loved ones - you will suffocate. Since, along with steampunk, it is also a post-apocalypse, too many (I would even say excessive) role are played by all sorts of artifacts of the past: computers, ancient laser weapons, and in the windows we are amused by broken iPhones and statues of American gods ... that turn out to be yellow glasses with minions.
There is some absurdity in this mix of genres. If people so forgot the pre-apocalyptic (that is, modern to us) civilization, then how did they manage to develop the technologies of the XIX century? And if you have enough mind for steam engines, electricity and even radio communication between air pilots, then it will not be difficult to rediscover computers either. However, asking such questions when it comes to the show - just spoil your mood.
The Chronicles of Predatory Cities turned out to be a vibrant, dynamic, fresh history and a very original picture:
especially successful "underground boat", scouring the wastelands. The first half looks very good when the film follows Riva’s novel quite accurately. In the second it becomes not that worse - the adventure is still in bulk. But more stamped. All this we have already seen a thousand times in "Star Wars": "Luke, I am your father!", The attack of aviation on the Stars of Death engines ...
There are newer roll calls. For some reason, in the second popular blockbuster for the year, the main character turns out to be a girl with a partially disfigured face: it was just Artemis in “The First Player to Prepare”, and now Esther Shaw in the Chronicles (for Esther, however, novel). Already the second film in a row the character, who at first seems an ominous villain, surrounded by the symbol of Stevenking's horror — evil clowns — in fact turns out to be a kind soul. This inversion has just been in “The Nutcracker” - and here you are, love the living cyber-dead of Shrike. The theme “terrible - good inside” is obviously more and more occupied by the creators of blockbusters.
But from obsessive political correctness — endless blacks inappropriate to the plot, savoring homosexuality, hysterical feminism — the film is a little more than full free. Rather, it can be seen in the opposite deviations caused by violent anglophobia. An impressive air attack on London, which the local air defense system could not repel — crashed searchlights, black flapping of anti-aircraft guns — all this looks unique, if we recall that the only time Hitler and Hering attacked London in a similar way, in 1940. In the "Chronicles" with a humor, replayed the results of the air "Battle of England" ...
Ultimately, with London, however, did more gently than in the novel Riva. There he just exploded, here his people were rescued by the good daughter of a terrible villain and became refugees in the hospitable "China". However, it is possible, this is just the beginning. In the case of commercial success, the filmmakers are likely to take on the second part. And according to the novel, the main character of this second part will be the city of Arkhangelsk, chasing the main port of Alaska, Anchorage. What juicy geopolitical allusions can be here - judge for yourself.