Movie Review Mortal Engines – Stunningly Big!

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Here is our review of MORTAL ENGINES, a steam punk-styled YA fantasy project by LORD OF THE RINGS fame Peter Jackson. Said to be made at a cost of around 100 dollars, let’s find out whether it’s worth the money spend in our review of MORTAL ENGINES

The Story

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Based on the first installment of Philip Reeve’s four-novel YA (young adult) series, Peter Jackson along with his regulars – Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens screen write this YA sci-fi fantasy by opening it with a thumping chase across a dystopian wasteland. Set 1,000 + years ahead, the civilization that was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London — now a giant, predator city on wheels — from devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw.

What is the similarity/difference between LORD OF THE RINGS, HOBBIT and MORTAL ENGINES?

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Peter Jackson is a man of vision. The filmmaker from New Zealand has proven his mettle in the past and here also as far as the scale and vision is concern, MORTAL ENGINES is at par with HOBBIT if not with LORD OF THE RINGS. MORTAL ENGINES is stunningly big, a visual spectacle, a magnificent production, a delight for the hard core junkies.

What makes it unique and different from other sci –fi/ fantasy dramas?

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Set 1,000 + years in future, this ‘YA’ targeted steam punk-styled fantasy stands alone on its own due to its remarkable choice to ignore modern gadgets, devices, phone and those regular hi –tech sci – fi/fantasy materials like people doing something with their jackets/devices etc and getting into various shapes and different cities. It’s more of a period epic war drama where a huge transformer type tank is galloping whichever city is coming its way and inside the giant eating vehicle things are happening between the protagonist Hester Shaw and antagonist Thaddeus Valentine.


This big, stunning visual spectacle lacks the required coherent sweep to justify all this historical epic video game type execution by Peter Jackson’s prodigy –Christian Rivers – the master of visual effects. Characters fail to achieve the connection with the audience and there is no genuine euphoria during the climax in spite of the spectacular razzle dazzle. The acting too is mediocre with no actor able to provide a defining moment.

Final verdict – Is MORTAL ENGINES worth watching?

There are some joints where you get your poison but at a – zero degree temperature inside the premise, there are malls where you can see kids playing with snow, but it’s not the ‘real’ thing. The real story is something else, it’s just a temporary artificial connect, an experiment unless and until you are a complete freak. MORTAL ENGINES is that crazy video game kick that after a while turns exhausting for regulars, however the diehard freaks won’t mind the lack of story in this visually spectacular steam punk-styled glory.

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