Mortal Engines

The manga comes to life but is it real?

What’s it about?

In a post apocalyptic world that looks steam-punk but is probably actually ‘X-punk’ where X is the specific version of punk that involves smoke belching cities on tractor treads lumbering across the landscape eating other smaller but equally mobile townships. In that post apocalyptic world, a doe-eyed museum curator meets a powerful architect, the architect’s wilful daughter, a surly assassin, a sexy terrorist, an angry cyborg, a besequined slave trader… Yep, it’s one of those films. Buckle up!

What we thought

Dan Beeston says: “Epic” films like this can easily get caught up in their own hubris. As frenetic as the chase scenes can be, if they don’t have enjoyable humans to watch, it’s just a screensaver. Thankfully Peter Jackson cast some of the most charismatic humans on the planet. Robert Sheehan does a tremendous job dealing with the chaos. Hera Hilmar digs her hooks into your eyeballs and Hugo Weaving is at his best.

Like all books crammed into movies there are a bunch of set pieces that make you think ‘I bet this bright and frantic scene was quite a compelling chapter that explained just why the heck this bright and frantic scene was in the story’. None-the-less it does what it sets out to do and it’s really enjoyable to watch the MacGuffins fall into place.


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