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Visionary filmmaker Peter Jackson presents a startling new adventure unlike any you‘ve seen before. Hundreds of years after our civilisation was destroyed, a new world has emerged. A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw leads a band of outcasts in the fight to stop London – now a giant predator city on wheels – from devouring everything in its path.
Bonus Features Include:
- Welcome to London
- End of the ancients
- In the Air
From the manufacturer
Hester Shaw was injured as a child during a fight that took her mother’s life. Hester has been left with a facial scar – a constant reminder of the brutal crime. It is also a catalyst for Hester’s transformation into becoming the ultimate survivor and a woman propelled by the desire for vengeance.
Thaddeus Valentine is London’s lead archaeologist and is admired by his people for his daring expeditions and important discoveries. But Valentine’s research into the past has shaped his thinking about the future, and not always in altruistic ways.
Anna Fang is an infamous resistance fighter with a price on her head as the leader of the Anti-Traction League. She built her own airship, the Jenny Haniver, and is renowned for her fearless pursuit of justice and her peerless combat skills.
Tom Natsworthy was raised inside the traction city of London; he has no real sense of the world outside of it. Tom’s world is soon turned upside down and his fundamental beliefs about London—and who within it can be trusted—are tested, when he meets Hester Shaw and finds himself on the run with her outside the protective fortress of the city.
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The story begins years after civilisation has all but been destroyed following a cataclysmic event. Nature has reclaimed much of the world and in its place, giant cities on wheels roam the world, devouring smaller towns to survive. London dwarfs over many other cities, roaming the lush world in search of its next metallic meal. Within the confines of this city sits charismatic leader Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) and his daughter Katherine (Leila George).
When a mysterious assassin fails in her mission to take the life of Thaddeus, Tom (Robert Sheehan), one of the city’s brightest prospects, winds up entangled in a conspiracy that threatens the lives of hundreds of people. What follows is a journey that sees Tom and the assassin Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) join forces to stop a catastrophic event from taking place.
Along the way we see numerous different locations around the world, with visually delightful steampunk and gorgeous establishing shots showing off the beauty in this bleak future. If there’s one film this year that shows off the pure majesty of the theatrical experience, it’s Mortal Engines. Visually the film is one of the best released in quite some time and the sheer level of detail and artistry put into much of the CGI makes this an incredible experience.
Enhancing this is the soundtrack which is up there with one of the best in any film this year. Numerous orchestral bites of music really add to the authenticity of the world and there’s some amazing tracks here, accentuating the action. While this was never going to reach the lofty heights of Lord Of The Rings, I’m a really sucker for a good film soundtrack and Mortal Engines backs up its gorgeous visuals with an equally impressive audio experience.
While Mortal Engines has numerous issues with its structure, story and overarching plot, the biggest problem comes from its host of characters inhabiting this world. While there’s a good range of people from all different walks of life here, there just isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. Hester Shaw is the most interesting character but some of her character development is questionable at best. It doesn’t help that Tom fails to really inspire anything beyond mild annoyance at his inclusion in the tale as well.
There’s a really strange, shoe-horned romance angle implemented here too and it comes completely out of the blue. It feels very messy and there’s little to suggest there’s love blossoming between the two characters in question. It really takes the wind out of the sails late on during the film’s final act which suffers from a somewhat toothless resolution to the conflict. The rest of the supporting cast do okay but they really feel like set dressing and don’t contribute a whole lot to the narrative. Even the main antagonist of the film lacks the necessary ingredients to make them a compelling foe and it all feels very empty and lifeless, which is a real shame.
If there’s one film this year that’s likely to divide opinion among fans and critics – it’s going to be Mortal Engines. The film has a lot of potential and visually, it’ll be difficult for another film to compete with this one. The epic soundtrack and amazing world building make Mortal Engines one of the best cinema experiences in quite some time and for that alone it’s easy to recommend this to fantasy enthusiasts. Unfortunately the film squanders this amazing backdrop with a formulaic story and lacklustre characters that fail to back up the promising design of the world. It’s a shame and I really wanted to love this film, especially after the first 15 minutes, but sadly Mortal Engines is more miss than hit making it a difficult pill to swallow.
sometimes it make a change to see something good and different and i certainly look forward to a DVD Blu-ray etc release
well here's hoping for a 2nd installment, please!!!
So I went with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it but was constantly looking for why so many rubbished it.
Anyway I enjoyed it but all the time I was drawing comparisons with it and Star Wars and the similarities are many. Just about every scene as an equivalent parallel scene in a Star Wars movie. The two main protagonists, Hester and Tom, are the equivalent to Leia and Luke. The Death star is London, the rebel base is Tibet, the space ships are steam punk jet powered kites. There's a killing machine that's a cross between Frankenstein's monster and Terminator that takes the Darth Mole roll. The rebel leader is the Dalai Lama who takes Yoda's roll. The final battle is very reminiscent of the final battle in Star Wars IV A New Hope and there is even a 'I am your father' scene. Plus many other parallel scenes.
So what's it all about?
In the twenty first century civilisation ended in a war that lasted sixty minutes and is referred to as the Sixty Minute War. It's now a thousand years latter and the city's have been rebuilt as gigantic tracked vehicles (and they are gigantic) that roam the land preying on smaller towns and cities for resources and the biggest and baddest city of them all is London. On most of the land surface it's a free for all. But the smaller prey towns and settlements are getting fewer and fewer. However there is a resistance in the mountains of Tibet behind an impenetrable wall and they have vast resources. London, well an ambitious bureaucrat in London, is looking for the 'Force' in the shape of the technology that built the bombs that ended civilisation in the sixty minute war so he can uses it to destroy the rebels wall and make him ruler of London and the World. (Think rise of the Emperor and the Death Star) But along comes Hester and Tom who much like Leia and Luke, they have a few adventures along the way to find themselves but in the end, prove instrumental in destroying the Death Star/London and bring down the megalomaniac respectively.