4 / 5
I was entertained. I have never read the book. Overall entertaining visually and for someone new to the whole story.
There are some scenes that I find strange in how it was pulled off.
*Spoiler alert* I never like to post spoilers but this scene which perhaps derives exactly like it plays out in the book was ridiculous.
Set-up: The Shrike character (which is basically a Terminator), single-handedly destroys this floating city, without intentionally even attempting to do so. The whole thing is burning in the air with people escaping while attempting to kill the Shrike, which makes for great visual CGI entertainment. Obviously, people can’t kill this Shrike thing, because it is basically a Terminator. Then towards the end of this whole “escape” from the Shrike for the main protagonists, the Shrike somehow dies because of the emotion it sees in the protagonist… There is an emotional connection of sorts between the protagonist and the Shrike too, but pretty much the Shrike is an emotionless killing machine (which it was built to be by the “Ancients”).
Ridiculous bit: Now this emotionless killing machine (Shrike) is becoming weak, powering down, next to the protagonist, it was about to kill. All the while the floating city they are on is still burning and falling out of the Stratosphere or Mesophere of Earth. This Shrike just killed a bunch of people and destroyed this city singlehandedly but now the protagonist goes into an emotional wreck over the Shrike dying..of which it was about to kill them..I understand the protagonist had her emotional connection with the Shrike, also due to film-time, scenes need to be progressed quickly from point to point. This scene doesn’t detract from the film nor ruins it. It isn’t all that off-putting either but is one ridiculous aspect that is very noticeable. Thus essentially as an audience, we are supposed to feel sad for this Shrike dying too, but that’s not going to happen given everything else going on.
All in all, if I had read the books then perhaps I’d agree with the RottenTomatoes rating of 38%. I just find no reason to rate this film so low. Perhaps a low 4 / 5 is really where I’m at. Nonetheless, I was entertained and I’ve seen films so much more poorly directed, with horrible CGI use, and terrible transitioning.
If you’re skeptical, just grab some popcorn and let yourself be entertained with zero expectations.