So there’s this movie.
I watched the first fifteen minutes and that was all I needed to know that this film was going to suck.
Mortal Engines is directed by no other than Peter Jackson. Turns out he’s not very bad good at directing films when he doesn’t have a timeless trilogy to go off. *hugs the Lord of the Rings*
I know it’s been several years since Mortal Engines was released. It was no surprise to see why it flopped, and I wanted to share with you where it went wrong even though I’m a few years late. I was excited about the concept when it was first announced, but I was sorely disappointed when I finally watched it.
If you haven’t watch Mortal Engines, allow me to familiarize you with the movie before I rip it into little tiny pieces. . .because I really hated it.
Let me present you a synopsis from Google:
Hundreds of years after a cataclysmic event destroyed civilization, mysterious young Hester Shaw emerges as the only one who can stop the city of London — now a giant predator 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, and Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.
Hester Shaw, the “protagonist”.
What more can I say other than…she’s the one of most bland, two-dimensional character I’ve come across.
At the start of the film, we find Hester on a small mining engine, and here comes London to destroy the engine for fuel (don’t forget the cities of the world are giant vehicles).
A chase ensues, and Hester finds herself on London with the frightened citizens of the now-destroyed mining engine.
Fixing her sights on the reason she’s there, she draws a knife, and with a whisper of “This is for my mother!”–or something along those cliché lines–she stabs Thaddeus Valentine, Head of the Guild of Historians and mentor to our other protagonist: Tom Natsworthy.
Tom–who cares for a museum of “old-tech” on London, pursues Hester to apprehend her and they both end up falling down a trash chute and outside in the wilderness.
This was when I started to dislike the film. Tom’s only internal conflict is he has a slight crush on Mr. Valentines’ daughter. Even though Hester stabbed his mentor, it’s apparent he really didn’t care. Hester also doesn’t have any internal conflict.
For internal conflict to exist, the character must have desire versus fear. Hester has plenty of desire, but no fear to overcome which causes her character to fall flat.
The story has just put these two characters together–we already know that Hester is willing to kill and Tom’s a simple citizen of London. After the tumble out of the trash chute, Tom is rendered unconscious. Obviously Hester doesn’t want him to trail her around on her quest.
It would be completely in character for her to kill him on the spot. In fact, it would have told us that she was capable of doing so and would give her personality and character some consistency to it. Tom is an inconvenience: just get rid of him.
But no, she wakes him up and after he says he’s coming with her to who-knows-where, she tells him not to follow her.
Then why…why did…arg.
They set off to try and get back to London.
I hate it.
You know why? Because it’s bland. Dull. Boooring. The whole film is.
The characters are just trying to survive. They are no different from anyone else who could have fallen off London.
These people are just the same as anyone else. If I had fallen off a gigantic mobile city and was lost in the wild, I want to get back too. What makes these two different?
I guess Hester wants to kill Valentine.
…and that’s it? We don’t know what she’ll do after that. Where she plans to go or do with her life, if she’ll learn anything from the experience. In a good story, someone would bring up those questions and the character would adjust their goal to be more fulfilling or noble.
I want to see the character changed by what happened, and I’m getting nothing.
If Hester gets what she wants, nothing is going to change. We all know revenge isn’t the right path. So her quest is pointless.
And Tom. Tom is just some bloke who got sucked into all of it and wants to go home. He doesn’t care about helping Hester. Or he shouldn’t…again, I don’t care about him because I’m not seeing how this adventure is changing him and making him a better person. I was starting to root for his demise; he was becoming so annoying.
Visually, the film is stunning, eye-catching, and leaves you wondering what they could come up with next.
But the plot died a hard death very fast.
No wonder no one talked about it after it came out. With a budget of $100 million and only grossing $16 million in America, Peter Jackson should have kept his hundred million and made something, anything else as long as it had even half a storyline.
Captain Marvel was better than Mortal Engines. And Captain Marvel must be one of my least favorite movies.
So don’t waste your time watching this pathetic excuse for a movie. Go watch something good like the Greatest Showman, some classic Marvel or a good ol’ fashioned Pixar movies.
Do tell, what do you think of Mortal Engines. What’s your favorite movie?
Do let me know!