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December 20, 2018

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Mortal Engines – well. It’s a strange one to review since there’s a slight bias in wanting the write good things about the movie. We held off in writing a review in the hope our opinion might change over time. The travesty is that we perhaps expected another gem from Peter Jackson but sadly The Hobbit it is not.

We will get to the point on this one. Delving into the world of fantasy means anything is possible that the mind will allow. The visuals of the movie are superbly stunning and no scene in the movie goes unaccompanied without a thunderous soundtrack. But what caught us off guard was the utter confusion that played out before our eyes. There are political references within the movie that don’t go unnoticed and mentions of Darwinism which makes sense given the underlying theme of the movie. It is perhaps ironic given the current economic misgivings that the aggressor is the rolling city of ‘London’. Attempting to conquer all before it. In reality London appears to think it’s bigger than it actually is, without realising the might of the rest of the world.

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Much has been made of two box office successes of 2018; Black Panther and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. The latter being the more relevant with our following comment… we are first introduced to Anna Fang (played by Jihae) approximately midway through the movie. She attends a ‘slave’ auction and sets about to save Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). As she approaches the staging area I turned to my friend and whispered ‘I hope they don’t make her do Kung Fu’. We don’t have to tell you what happens next in the movie. For all the stereotyping of characters that we see in Hollywood, it would have been great to see the only East Asian in the movie not to be reduced to bringing out the inevitable karate moves.

The movie is just over two hours. In an odd way a longer movie may have done the film more justice. Mortal Engines appears to be incredibly rushed. Scenes skip through faster than Usain Bolt in an Olympic final, without any sort of character development. Deaths are as dramatic as watching a daytime soap from the eighties.

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Ultimately the biggest tragedy is seeing the likes of Robert Sheehan (Misfits) secure a major role, only to have his opportunity destroyed by poor direction. He may get another opportunity in Hollywood again, but others like Hera Hilmar won’t be so lucky if typical Hollywood protocols take effect. Hera by the way plays her role superbly and again the failure of the movie shouldn’t be a reflection on her performance.

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Ultimately Mortal Engines is one hell of a mess.

– If you’re looking for a date movie – don’t see it.

– If you’re looking for a bit of escapism – don’t see it.

– If you’re bored – don’t see it.

Courtesy of ‘Mike

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