Mortal Engines Review_Featured

Mortal Engines – A One and Done Franchise

Yet Another Young Adult Borefest

Reader Rating0 Votes
Steam Engine
Very pretty visuals
Mortality Engine
Sooooo boring!
Why do they say things that aren't witty like they're supposed to be witty?
Why is Agent Smith/Elrond/V/Megatron/Red Skull in this?
Wait, is this why Hugo Weaving wasn't in Infinity War? What the Fork!

Of the many categories I sort movies into, one of my most dreaded is the one I’ve come to dub “The Transformers Experience.”

This classifies movies that are best experienced on the big screen, often with the benefit of surround sound and the scale of the cinematic experience, but are essentially a cause of financial regret, making you beat yourself up for spending the money on the movie in the first place.

Sadly, Mortal Engines is one of those movies that falls very firmly in this despised category.

It’s amazing how film adaptations of books have fallen so far since the Harry Potter series. From painstakingly attentive and three-hour long movies, adaptations have been reduced to rushed, selectively arranged trailers for the source materials.

This generally results in a loss of drive or development for most characters, especially supporting ones, let alone supporting female characters… who happen to be Asian and possibly not straight.

Seriously, at this point, it’s like winning the lottery to have a non-male, non-White, non-straight character in a big budget franchise flick. So it’s really quite annoying when said character ends up being a pillar of stereotypes for being “alternative,” and is pretty much portrayed like an anime character come to life.

Though, this is hardly a problem in Mortal Engines‘ overly simplistic and borderline gross representation of their take on global affairs with its Eastern-skewed “white bad, colour good” take on the world… which still somehow features the only Caucasian actors as being the primary characters who, not a spoiler alert ’cause you really shouldn’t care, that don’t die.


And all of the pain is compounded by the fact that the movie is directed and produced by the storyboard artist and director of one of the best adaptations ever: Christian Rivers and Peter “I live in the Shire” Jackson. Which is truly mind-numbing given how the entirety of the film plays out with absolutely no sequel potential, let alone further world-building opportunities.

This from the guys who turned a bedtime story into a three film prequel series.

And the leading female protagonist, a selling-point for the film, I assume, only because of her half-covered face being plastered on all the posters, joins the long list of half-written, under-developed, desperately edgy, utterly boring leading females that have somehow found a home in these young adult-type novels. I long to see Hermione stumbling upon these wardrobe swapping tropes in a scene similar to the Disney Princesses’ show stealing cameo in Wreck-It Ralph 2.

Y’know what, just go watch Wreck-It Ralph (again). Or Into the Spider-Verse. Or just wait for Aquaman… okay, maybe wait for Bumblebee instead.

No, this isn’t the trailer for Mortal Engines… ’cause the trailers’ are somehow just as pointless as the movie.

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