DVD: Mortal Engines
As a result of a cataclysmic 60-minute war, earth as we know it is no more. A desolate wasteland that that is now inhabited by steampunk styled mobile cities that roam this post-apocalyptic era. Mortal Engines opens its special effects driven visual story with the greatest of all the cities, London, chasing down the small mining settlement of Salzhaken. London soon swallows Salzhaken, and it’s inhabitants are welcomed aboard. Amongst them is Hester Shaw who attempts to assassinate the head of the Guild of Historians, kicking off the story of Mortal Engines.
And it is a bit of a rip-roaring adventure, which is well-paced, well acted, and whilst relying heavily on CGI, doesn’t feel like it’s being choked to death by overuse of CGI. In short, it’s a visual masterpiece, the sort of thing you’d expect from a film associated with Peter Jackson.
But it bombed at the box office, but don’t take any clues from this.
Mortal Engines is based on a Young Adult novel, released into a cinematic landscape that had only recently turned it’s back on Young Adult adaptations. What’s more, Universal basically kicked it to the curb, not wanting to waste the time or money promoting it properly.
It’s a pity really, because not only is it one of the best YA films to grace our screens, but it’s also a magnificent example of spectacular cinematic world building.
Fortunately, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson know what they are doing when it comes to translating books into film and have delivered a stand-alone film that could have easily transitioned into a four-film series, so you won’t be disappointed by any massive cliff hangers that go unanswered.
Rating: M Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. NOTE: Science fiction themes & violence.