Mortal Engines (2018)
On this journey to the movies, I was joined by my brother, Andrew. Neither of us had read the books the film is adapted from so this was an unknown entity. We were, however, aware that the critics were not kind to this film, which is currently at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. After seeing it for ourselves, we feel that score is too generous.
Mortal Engines is the worst film I’ve seen this year. It’s a dumpster fire from beginning to end. A 100 million-dollar turd squeezed out into theaters. I’m still dumbfounded that Peter Jackson was involved with
The principal story centers on Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) acquiring enough old-tech to fire up a weapon to destroy a wall. Seemingly because beyond the wall the grass is greener, and it’s necessary for long-term survival. Why? Well, that’s never explained. On the “bad” side of the wall I saw trees and other plant life so maybe if they stopped running over everything with their CUV’s (City Utility Vehicles) they might be able to—oh I don’t know—plant some food. Nothing about anything in this film is properly explained for folks that haven’t read the books.
Poor world building, however, is just the tip of this turd-berg. Beyond the admittedly decent production design, there’s not a single developed character in this film—just a blend of thinly sketched motivations that don’t make much sense. The action is poorly arranged, its contrivances are too numerous to mention, and the conclusion contradicts the main story thread with a ham-fisted jab at those folks that don’t want to help refugees. Which also didn’t make any sense because the people welcoming them built the damn wall in the first place to protect their shit!
This film was painful to watch. Stay away. Go see something—anything—else!
Starring: Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery
Directed by: Christian Rivers
Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr 8 min.