Thousands of years in the future a mysterious young woman seeks revenge against the captain of the giant tank like predator city that London has become. With the aid of a young historian they must stop the threat that the Captain poses while surviving out in wastelands full of hunters.
Mortal Engines, directed by Christian Rivers, takes us into a steampunk type world far into the future after people have suffered from killing one another via weapons of mass destruction. Within Western civilizations cities roam around as giant tank like vehicles that make present military tanks look like a Mcdonald’s happy meal toy. Minions (the little yellow guys that speak gibberish) are displayed in museums as ancient relics of the past and the almighty Twinkie survives the passage of time. There’s quite a bit that goes on in this film, but story is not exactly one of them.
While the film opens with a cool robot voice setting up the world for which the story takes place in, we get a more detailed sense of the norm when we thrusted into a chase scene of epic proportion as Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) captains the giant mobile city of London after small trading city. After a futile attempt to escape the smaller city is literally consumed for its resources within moments like a kid and a fun sized candy bar on Halloween. Also, there are giant saws that dismantle everything.
Aboard the smaller city Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmer), the main hard boiled heroine of the story, manages a bit of subterfuge and makes an assassination attempt on Thaddeus’ life. She ultimately fails due to the prevention effort of Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), a historian and wannabe pilot that serves as the main hero. As she then attempts to escape, Tom gives chase through a city getting destroyed by giant saws like the heroic historian that he is. After nearly facing death, he ends up at a waste disposal shoot where he finds out that Thaddeus is not what the people believe him to be. And then is kicked into the waste shoot.
Hester and Tom are then forced to survive and traverse the wastelands. As we follow the journey of our main characters they are, of course, met with trials and tribulations along the way. This ranges from hunters that seek out people to a single minded cybernetic dead man that walks everywhere yet still manages to catch up with the heroes.
The CGI implemented into the film is well done and does a good job at portraying the idea of what it would look like if giant cities were to literally consume smaller ones. The machines shown within the film are definitely interesting and would make any steampunk fan giddy. However, while the overall film is pretty, the substance behind the story is a bit lacking as the answers to mysteries lack sophistication and cheesy one liners are sprinkled all throughout the film. In addition, certain moments of resolution felt less than authentic or believable. Part of the magic of immersion is to give a sense of believability which, unfortunately, was not given within the film due to over simplistic and not earned conflict resolutions. Aside from that, the acting was exceptional and there were bits of humor presented in the movie that successfully managed to get a chuckle out of me.
Watching Mortal Engines can definitely be a hit or a miss depending on the viewer. For those interested in steampunk machinery and action then I would imagine Mortal Engines would be a great fit. However, for someone who is a bit more story oriented like myself, I rate the film a six out ten.
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmer, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, Stephen Lang
Director: Christian Rivers
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Based on the Book by: Philip Reeve
Distributor: Universal Studios
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Rating: PG – 13
Runtime: 185 minutes
MORTAL ENGINES – In Theaters December 14, 2018
Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.
Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar®-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong). Joining Rivers are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay. The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic.
On board as producers are Zane Weiner (The Hobbit trilogy), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit trilogy) and Deborah Forte (Goosebumps), as well as Walsh and Jackson. Ken Kamins (The Hobbit trilogy) joins Boyens as executive producer. Universal will distribute the film worldwide.
Eddieson Burkhalter | Writing Contributor
B.A | Japanese | San Diego State Univ.
My name is Eddieson. I’m an open minded dreamer that likes to look for new opportunities, experiences, and challenges in life to make things a bit more interesting. After graduating from San Diego State University with a Japanese degree and minor in Business, I landed an office job in Shinjuku, Japan where I dealt with online marketing matters as well as content creation. Though I come from an international business background I could never escape the alluring call of an emotionally manipulating story, regardless of the medium, that could turn the toughest body builder into a two year old child watching The Muppets and eating “pig newtons”. So long as the story is well done it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s presented as a comic, video game, anime, book, movie, or even an interpretive dance with bananas and jello. After some intense independent study I have not only been more than inspired to join the industry, but brought to a point where I wonder why I gave up pursuing this stuff in college and turned to a course of pulling my hair out before each exam. Regardless, I love stories and hope to be presented with the opportunity to tell my own; most likely through writing. With a fire in my heart and goals set I am actively gaining skills each day to hopefully one day help others in their endeavors as well as achieve my own dreams. |Instagram @BlaEddieBla| View My Blogs
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