Movie Review: Mortal Engines


Mortal Engines is one of those movies that suffers from a lack of focus. There are so many cool ideas in it but some that never quite take off. It’s one of those films that I might have to see over again just to get another grasp on the themes. I did enjoy it to a certain extent so another viewing is definitely in the cards. I loved the characters but other than Hester there’s not much backstory to the others. Which would be fine if it focused mainly on Hester as the main character. Instead it jumped around to the others as if it were trying to make them main characters too. Peter Jackson and team did great with LOTR and everyone knows this. But it was obvious after the Hobbit and now Mortal Engines that they have lost focus on STORY and are exultant in CGI and graphics to tell the story. There are areas of the story that were really well done but it barely had time to focus on certain areas and people. It could have used with some condensing. The two hour movie is really restrictive but good stories can be told. The problem arises when there’s too much story to tell in such a small space.

Also I hate most flashback scenes in movies, and almost all flashbacks in books, because they almost lend nothing to plot progression and are just filler for backstory. I feel like there’s a way to go about character development on and off screen. It’s easy for me to say as I’m not a screenwriter, but I feel Hollywood hasn’t quite figured out how to adapt books to the big screen. There’s a way to tell stories seamlessly in such a format, introducing both character and plot progression without having to jump around so much. 

I probably will try to watch it again after it comes out on Blu-Ray unless someone else wants to see it with me. It did have some very important aspects to it but ones that weren’t presented in a well executed format.

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