Mortal Engines

Title: Mortal Engines

Year: 2018

Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy |

Runtime:  128 min

Director:  Christian Rivers

Starring:  Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang, Hera Hilmar





A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw joins forces with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head, and Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, to lead a rebellion against a giant predator city on wheels.


Director Christian Rivers was deeply rooted in the Lord of the Rings-series, which started almost twenty years ago but back then he was assigned as a visual effect for the epic fantasy for Peter Jackson in New Zeeland. This time he has brought in Peter Jackson, Jacksons wife and friend to adapt this steam-punk dystopic fantasy story.

Hugo Weaving as well is back to cooperate once again with Rivers and Jackson, but as an antagonist. It takes place many centuries into the future where most of the world has been distinguished and destroyed. Most cities runs on large predator machines that get by with these massive engines. Reckless these cities, in this case; a futuristic London, hunts down small cities and get immigrates its citizens. This is because the new era demands these cities on wheel to get fed out of other cities resources.

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   As this movie is based on a tetralogy written by Philip Reeves, which the first entry in the series was published back in 2001. These books is depicted as children books or Young Adults-novels, and you might even feel it on screen. Much of what happens is extremely action-based in a way that might not be appropriate for the youngest of children.

In the very beginning of the movie, Hester Shaw is told with mystery and we got to know Thaddeus Valentine more. But as the movie goes on Shaw befriends Tom Natsworthy, and she has unexplained feelings for him through more of the movie. Most because Shaw’s history remains a mystery until the point where she has story-time moments like four time during the film. This is because she are supposed to hate him to at the end start to have unexplained feelings for him. They rescue each other over and over. As she told her backstory, she has been raised by Shrike – a robot awakened from the dead and she has given him a promise. A promise about she was supposed to be like him, even though she is his foster daughter… She never gives the promise verbaly in the movie.

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Stephen Lang’s performance as Shrike is probably the only good thing that’s told in the movie. Hugo Weaving is quite solid as a villain, yet his dialogue is one of the downsides. Fairly, Valentin doesn’t have a proper motif to kill people. He is written by Jackson and Co, as a Robert Sheehan as Tom is quite annoying and hard to read as a character. He doesn’t have an interesting quality. Hera Hilmar is decent as Hester Shaw. She doesn’t fit that much as a protagonist for the story, but she isn’t the one you should even see the movie for. Jihae who plays Anna Fang, is shown as a cool character with sunglasses, who looks like Mr Smith from The Matrix but instead, she has a red jacket. She is only in the movie for the action sequences.

In the end it’s quite easy to figure it all out. Valentine, Fang, Shrike and Pod is character who all going to die by the end. Valentine like in the book is the father of Shaw. Valentine was originally the father of Hester but since he wanted her dead because of her mother Pandora, it wasn’t an option. The story is rather predictable and lacks originality. The special effects is efficient and shows some advance techniques but other than that it’s an underwhelming movie with a disgraced ending where we all know that the two lead is in love. It certainly has some spoof that provide some interest and exciting moments but tries to be the action-sci-fi movie that no one wanted beside Jackson and his writers. It’s a decent one to be a debut feature-film.

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Grade 2 of 5

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