Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Mortal Engines * Visually Incredible. Difficult to Follow Storyline

A mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw, emerges as the only one who can stop a giant, predator city on wheels 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. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Rohan F. comments, “The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed.He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details.” See his full review below.

Mortal Engines
By Rohan F, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Mortal Engines is a visually incredible movie. Unfortunately, the story is quite hard to follow,and a lot seems to have been cut.

 The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future where civilization has been wiped out. What’s left of the human race has rebuilt cities as war vehicles designed to destroy and loot other cities. A girl named Hester Shaw tries to revenge her mother and stop London from destroying the shield wall, a wall that protects the peaceful, non-moving cities.

I dislike how fast it moves. There are lots of action scenes and some of them get a bit too fast. On the other hand, these action scenes are well planned out and have lots of moving parts. In almost all of them, the characters are fighting while the city falls apart.

The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed. He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details. I specifically like how he can hold onto the ground by folding his feet down. This is a unique ability that isn’t over or under used. I enjoy Stephen Lang’s voice as Shrike. It gives an expected, eerie feeling to his character.  The makeup for Hester’s scar is great, looking realistic but not too over the top.

Hera Hilmar (left) as Hester Shaw and Robert Sheehan as Tom Natsworthy in "Mortal Engines." The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

 The moral of Mortal Engines is that you can accomplish anything if you work as a team. This is shown when Hester refuses to work with her friends until the end, when they must work together to stop London from destroying the shield wall.

The music is often too overpowering. In several scenes, the music actually takes away from what is happening on screen. For example, in the final set it gets so loud that you can’t hear what the characters are saying.

My favorite scene is at the beginning, when they show the landscape of this post-apocalyptic future and then, quickly jump into the action with a fun chase scene. This scene is very intense and shows what most of the movie is all about.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 15. It opens in theaters Friday, December 14, 2018 so look for it.

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