Thursday 13 June 2019

Mortal Engines ☆☆☆☆☆

Most of us will never see a million dollars. I know I won’t. I’ll never come close to having that kind of money in my life. Mortal Engines, the latest film from Peter Jackson (although he doesn’t direct it, despite the confusing marketing trying to allude otherwise), has suffered estimated losses of $175 million. LOSSES OF $175 MILLION. Can you imagine being in an industry where that kind of loss can occur? F*** me, in my line of work a loss of a £50 is troubling. Let alone a loss of 175 MILLION. Holy mother of shitballs.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the film.
Shitballs is right because this film is a combination of shit and balls. Absolutely dreadful piece of work from all involved. For those of you who don’t know what it’s about, it goes a little something like this. Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester, emerges as the only one who can stop London - now a giant, predator city on wheels - from devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.

Now I’m not going to take a shit on the source material because I know it has a lot of fans and maybe the utterly ridiculous story works well on paper. Hell, it must’ve done, because it won a Smarties Children’s Book Prize award. But for a newcomer to Philip Reeve’s universe, all I can say is what is that guy smoking and where can I get some. London is now a predatory city on wheels?! Who thinks of shit like that with a sound mind? Good grief. Totally bizarre. But I’m willing to accept that crazy premise if we can at least have some interesting characters and an interesting story. Oh, no, we have neither! 

This totally wooden, vacuous and empty paint-by-numbers YA thriller is just so empty and without character or personality that it is impossible to get even remotely invested with a single character. I didn’t give even a shred of a shit about anybody’s goals, motives, past or present in Mortal Engines. I couldn’t confidently tell you anything about the characters now, either. I don’t even remember why Hester wears that cloth around her face or why London is now on wheels. Because I just didn’t care enough to take it in.

For a film with such a colossal budget and talent like Peter Jackson involved (evidently in a bullshit producer role), you’d think that something entertaining, exciting or at the very least coherent would come out of the other end. But no, we’re left with this steaming pile of filth. I don’t have a single kind word to say about Mortal Engines so I’m just going to wrap this up right now. 

Sam Love

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