Search This Blog

December 17, 2018

Mortal Engines (2018) --- “Some Scares Never Heal.”

Plot Summary
Hundreds 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. (1)

Subscribe HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directed by newcomer Christian Rivers, and screenplay by veteran writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson [the writers of LOTR & the Hobbit]; Mortal Engines (2018) is an action-packed and visually stunning post-apocalyptic film based on the book series by Philip Reeve. This is Rivers’ first full feature – after previously directing a short and working as a special effects designer on LOTR & the Hobbit – and is probably one of the better YA book-to-film adaptation that we have seen in a while; similarly to the Mad Max (comics), the Maze Runner (books), and even the City of Ember (books). Much of the film’s success lies with the story/screenplay and the visuals.

     Since I have not read the book series, I cannot say for certain how close the film is to the book, however, I can say that the film was pretty epic. Mortal Engines (2018) is like Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit, you can watch it multiple times and still enjoy it every time. You can even get away with not having read the books, like me, and still feel like you've been immersed into another world. We learn about this new world of mobile machine cities as well as a little about Hester’s childhood with a nice subplot to go with it. However, I found myself wanting a more in-depth explanation of the Sixty Minute War, as it was only briefly discussed in the beginning. But perhaps it will be explored later on in the series, as is the case with most post-apocalyptic stories. And after watching this film I hope that the other books in the series will have the chance to be made into a film because this style of post-apocalyptic book series is what the cinema needs more than ever before.
     The visuals are nothing short of being absolutely fantastic with incredible special effects and stunning cinematography (Simon Raby). It can be difficult to blend different elements in a way that does not cause them to overpower or cancel out each other. Fortunately, Mortal Engines has accomplished its mission of blending different elements together in a way that has brought this world to life. Seeing the various styles of architectures used on these now mobile colonies is spectacular and the attention to detail is greatly appreciated. In addition, the costumes (Bob Buck and Kate Hawley) succeed in bringing the characters to life and further solidifies the movie’s goal of immersing the audience into this new and otherworldly world. Whether it’s one of the leading characters or an extra that plays multiple characters, the costumes fully reflect the different and yet similar cultures of these characters.
     The music score by Junkie XL is fantastic and considering that he also did the music score for Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) its no wonder why I enjoyed it so much. The film also has a lot of action sequences that are big, loud, gritty, and almost suspenseful. There is some room for improvement with certain scenes, especially the final showdown which could have been a bit longer and more intense considering the story’s buildup. Perhaps, more development will go into the sequel should the studio decide to pursue such a venture.
     Although the costumes helped in bringing the characters to life, actors played a big part as well. While I am not familiar with the characters in the book, the film does give a lot of insight into the characters and allows the audience to determine if they fit into the story. Icelandic actress Hera Wilmar is beautiful as the leading lady, Hester Shaw, who is scarred both inside and out. Robert Sheehan (Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) is great as young historian Tom Natsworthy, and his chemistry with Wilmar worked well. I always enjoy seeing Hugo Weaving (LOTR & The Hobbit) on screen and this time it was nice to see him play a villain. The supporting cast – Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Colin Salmon, and Stephen Lang – also gave good performances and hopeful if there is a sequel they will get more screen time.

     Overall, Mortal Engines (2018) is an action-packed and visually stunning post-apocalyptic film that brings Philip Reeve’s imaginary world to life in a fashion that is clear Peter Jackson’s style. For his first full feature film, director Christian Rivers delivers an epic and visual feast that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end, especially considering that most of the production team – special effects, costumes, producers, writers, etc. – worked on LOTR and/or The Hobbit together.  I recommend that you ignore the low ratings and negative critics and simply enjoy this film for what it set out to do: entertain audiences. If you’re a fan of the series, steampunk, sci-fi or any of the similar films listed below then this is the film for you.

"He tried to kill me...but I got away."
- Hester Shaw [to Tom about Valentine]

Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars

I hope you liked this post, Subscribe HERE, send in your comments, and watch Mortal Engines (2018).

Movies Similar 
Bridge To Terabithia
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)
City of Ember (2007)
Eragon (2006)
The Giver (2014)
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
The Host (2013)
Inkheart (2009)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (2002)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Maze Runner (2014)
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)
Mortal Engines (2018)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (2007)
Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
Stardust (2007)
Vampire Academy (2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment