ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – C – Mortal Engines (2018) Movie Review

This is under C because of the director Christian Rivers.

Director: Christian Rivers

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (Screenplay) Philipe Reeve (Book)

Starring: Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide

Plot: 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.


Tagline – Some scars never heal.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Hugely Ambitious

Story: Mortal Engines starts in a world destroyed by war, the cities of the world move on wheels, as Hester Shaw (Hilmar) lives on a small mining city that gets consumed by London, under control of Thaddeus Valentine (Weaving). In London Tom Natsworthy (Sheehan) has come from the bottom to work in the museum studying to ancient technology that caused the destruction of Earth.

After Hester misses her chance to kill Thaddeus, she gets thrown out of the town with Tom who has learnt the betray that Thaddeus has in his search for power, leave the two to need to work together to stop his plan which could result in more destruction of the world.

Thoughts on Mortal Engines

Characters – Hester Shaw is a young woman who has been living on the outlands searching for Thaddeus, waiting for her chance of revenge on him, she is used to living alone without another human around until she is forced to work with Tom to get another chance at the revenge she has waited a lifetime for, tough and knowing how to survive the different environments, she becomes his guide for the most part. Tom lives in London, working in the museum waiting for a chance to dump the old tech which could cause a new war, but after trying to capture Hester he gets betrayed by Thaddeus, where he must work with her to get back to London. Thaddeus Valentine has been working on his own new energy source in London, one that could give him control of the city if not the world, only the people of the city see him as a idol, saviour, until more people learn of his evil plan to start a new war and his past with Hester. Anna Fang is a bounty hunter that has been searching for Hester, she knows how to handle combat and shows the calm in a fight for Hester to learn from.

PerformancesHera Hilmar in the leading role is great to watch, she shows the broken past of her character while also the strength to get revenge. Robert Sheehan is the weaker of the four leads, but doesn’t do anything wrong, though Hugo Weaving as a villain is always a pleasure to watch, Jihae oozes the cool character in this film with her actions.

StoryThe story here follows the world after a war which has seen the cities turned into moveable objects that travel the world, with the biggest looking to consume the smallest for resources, we follow one woman on her own mission for revenge against a man trying to start his own new war. The story is the weakest part of the whole film, this is mostly because we don’t learn enough about the war which caused everything or how the cities become so moveable, learning more on this would help explain why everybody wants to be in a city, despite the risk of a bigger one find them. When it comes to everything we see unfold, we do dive into a lot of side quests, which don’t get enough time, leading me to believe we could have had this story told in a television form just to flush out little moments of everything involved. The core revenge storyline is simple enough and the desire for power is everything we have seen before.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in this film is big, it is giant cities chasing each other, giant air battles, it is all want we want from this style of film, with the idea of a future where this has happened all together as one.

SettingsThe film here does create the giant cities of the future which do keep the landmarks of the original cities, with the modern adjustments around them.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with how everything looks for the cities that can move, transform from normal to defence or attack position, to seeing the flying crafts and not forget the Shrike characters that looks terrifying.


Scene of the Movie – The Shrike’s first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough time on the side quests.

Final Thoughts This is an ambitious movie that looks amazing on paper, as strong characters and performance, only it falls short on the amount it needs to cover to get the most out of the story.

Overall: Brilliant Ideas.

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