Movie Review: Mortal Engines (2018)

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Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world where cities ride on wheels and consume each other to survive, two people meet in London and try to stop a conspiracy.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
SOME of the acting/characters. Robert Sheehan plays Tom Natsworthy and I knew he was going to be good at least because I like him and I think he’s a good, engaging and charming actor. For some reason, I thought he was going to be the villain, maybe I saw the wrong trailer, lol I don’t know, but I liked Tom’s character. He lives on London and he’s a historian so he knows a lot information about the past, which works out in ways so when the movie needs to share a ton of information, Tom is the one sharing it. But he’s a little awkward but he’s a good guy and I generally like characters like him. I think the movie should have followed him because he was way more interesting. Hera Hilmar plays Hesterand I liked her and found her interesting sometimes. Hugo Weaving as Valentineand he’s always good, very good at being the villain lol but he just had lots of talking to do.
Great Chase Scenes.The movie has some really nice chase scenes, in terms of high tension. The first scene is really good and I was into it. Whenever Shrike showed up, I was like “dang, this is the terminator!” and he really was, he didn’t do a bunch of fighting but he had his mission and he was going to follow through. He caused tons of destruction and it was awesome. The action sequence in the Aerial town was pretty cool and the fighter planes sequence towards the end was also pretty good too. I can’t say all the physical fight scenes were that great but the other stuff was fun to watch.
Production Design. Now you know with Peter Jackson involved it’s bound to be grand and magnificent and he bought the rights to the book in 2009. It’s been in the works for quite some time not official until 2016. I think this film has a ton of great images in it. The cities alone are quite a sight to behold. For example, when London is first sighted by the little town, they break apart into the separate… cars? and they quickly move the shops and what not back onto their respective rollers (hah!) and it’s just so cool to see that. Not to mention, how great London itself looks AND when we see the air city, just wow. If anything, this movie looks great and one of the best things about it is look and all of the… stuff lol.
The Opening Chase Scene. I had to rewatch this film because I wasn’t paying that much attention in the beginning as I was cooking but that opening scene which I missed most of the first time, is pretty awesome! Probably one of the best parts of the movie. I just wish the movie kept that kind of tension and adrenaline throughout the rest. The fear of the people on the smaller rollers, Hester clearly wanting them to be caught and the people on London cheering and booing depending on the small outcomes of catching up or falling behind. I bet it was really cool to see on the big screen.
Cons:
Bland Characters. This book isn’t that big and I do plan on reading it at some point, but I wonder just how much we get to know some of these characters in the first book because you really learn nothing about how most of these people are as people. Sure, we learn about Hester’s past and a bit about Tom but we don’t really get to know these people to care about them. I would say Tom gets the most indication of who he is but that seems like it’s because he wears his personality and heart on his sleeve. Hester is a bit harder to pin down but she’s just not interesting this way. That may be on purpose but it didn’t work for me and it didn’t make me interested in her storyline.
Fluffed Story. By this I mean that it doesn’t seem like a ton is going on. It’s characters going from place to place running from people, meeting new people and they talk about stuff. It just isn’t that interesting. There are pockets of interesting story in the movie but it either wraps those up quickly, or it doesn’t explore it enough, like the stuff with Hester and Shrike, that was interesting and it was part of her story, but I didn’t think it was explored enough for me to even care about her caring about him, nor did I care with what happened later. Same with those rebels, I didn’t know any of them to care about any of their sacrifices, I just cared about Anna Fang only because she was dope, not because we really got to know her and same with that Captain dude, only because he was cute lol.
Clichés Abound! The YA tropes are just sickening in this movie lol. You have the main heroine who is an action star, without much indication as to how she became that way. All of her flashbacks never show her once training to be anything like she is when we see her present time. She can just do it. You have the “rebellion” of people who are against the motor cities and half of them do nothing and the other half of them apparently do things to mess with the rollers. Sure sure. Then there’s the villain who of course came from nothing and has new ideas that old leaders are like “you’ve been at this for years, I’m over it!” and then of course the villain has a son or a daughter, who figures out their dad is a jerk and now must find out for themselves. It really just hits all the tropes and I rolled my eyes a lot during the film.
Overall, I enjoyed Mortal Engines and I think it’s a little sad that it didn’t do well but I also see why. I think it had a lot of potential but not as a film. I think Robert Sheehan is the best thing about the movie but that’s because he’s fun to watch and his character is just enough interesting that I wanted to know more about him. Hester is okay and she follows all of the heroine tropes but in the end, meh. I think this movie really shines with the production design and the chase scenes in how they’re handled. The opening chase was great and the other action sequences were pretty good as well. Now, I think the movie had very bland characters, none of them are that interesting and it’s a little sad because the skeletons are there but there isn’t enough flesh on those bones. I also found it cliché and fluffy in that nothing is really happening. It feels long to be long with no real substance. However, I did enjoy myself in that I didn’t hate the movie so there’s that lol.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.Mostly because of how the movie looks and the fact that I did enjoy it.
Have you seen Mortal Engines? Have you read the book series? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
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