Mortal Engines is a movie that I was expecting to suck. Surprisingly it doesn’t suck as much as I thought it would. I don’t know why Hollywood does this but it’s always the good movies that have the worst trailers. Especially with this one that gives way too much of the plot away in the trailer with certain reveals at the beginning of the movie ruined because I had seen the same trailer 6 times! What they show is also quite misleading so if you have any interest in seeing this movie then I recommend you do not watch the trailer so you can hopefully have a better viewing experience than me. (Also clicking off this review might help too!)
So this movie is another one of those young adult post-apocalyptic movies but this time cities are on wheels and life is pretty sucky for everyone except the villain. So we follow random guy (who isn’t shown in the trailer) as he lives his normal life and is fascinated by our modern culture of memes, smartphones, Minions and in this world our time is known as the screen age. (Even the future doesn’t think that much of us.) He meets main girl from the trailer and they go on an adventure together, running into multiple obstacles along the way. But the main goal is to stop Hugo Weaving’s character from destroying everyone’s fun and it’s quite an entertaining ride.
Probably the most engaging part of the movie is that it is visually impressive as it is very CGI heavy. It didn’t really bother me too much, although CGI normally bothers me if the movie decides to become like a video game where it’s like explosions and things flying everywhere and I’m reaching for my remote to turn the volume down. I don’t like when it’s all just mindless CGI. Sometimes it’s like that in this movie, like near the end with the space ship battles that make my mind go to sleep, but most of the time it looks really nice as it kind of heightens some of the action set pieces to make it more visually appealing.
Let’s talk about the characters and let me tell you I have never seen such a useless male protagonist. I can’t remember his name but he’s annoying, he doesn’t learn anything, he doesn’t change that much and he is utterly useless. This guy is on the run for his life and somehow he is always putting himself in danger every single time so the scarred face chick has to save him every single time! LEAVE HIM! You only had a few cute talking scenes, so why on earth do you suddenly care so much for his well-being? That’s another thing I hate about these young adult adaptations – they do a terrible job at explaining their worlds. They’re either not explained or not explained well enough. Not everyone who sees your movie has read the book! I think the worst example, next to Twilight, is the Hunger Games as it often sucked at explaining the politics of it’s world.
This one isn’t too bad as I got a pretty good idea of how this city car world works. I understand everything to do with the villain as they do a good job at explaining his motivation, but as for the heroes… unfortunately not the same case. Scarface chick is fine, I got her, (the trailer kind of gave away most of her backstory) and she’s probably the best character in the movie. I also liked her relationship with the giant robot man which I wished had been further developed. Unlike with the other side characters who we meet and we’re supposed to care for even though we know nothing about them or what their goal is. There is a whole subplot that really doesn’t go anywhere and it’s kind of pointless since we learn the same information from the main plot. The two characters that come along with the subplot I couldn’t care less about and those Freedom Fighter people are the most undeveloped rebel group I have ever seen in a movie.
There isn’t much left to say. The best characters are the robot man, Hugo Weaving’s character and Scarface chick because they had the most development. I did like that it’s a more subtle version of what the trailers advertised. It’s nothing amazing but it’s better than what was advertised. In the end I enjoyed myself, I wasn’t bored and I was somewhat invested in the movie. I think it’s all got to do with taste – I had a taste, and it was okay, and now I’m hungry for something else.
Overall it was a good movie to watch and then forget about in the next couple of days, so it’s a 6 or 7/10. If this interests you, knock yourself out, and goodnight.