by

Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines. Christian Rivers. 2018.

What an insane spectacle!

This is apparently based on a sci-fi er fantasy series I’m totally unfamiliar with. It’s a real nimble adaptation, though: It doesn’t seem like an adapted work. Everything’s so… visual.

Unfortunately, much of those visuals are steampunk. Eww! Steampunk! The only steampunky thing I can abide is Girl Genius. Which I initially thought was what the filmmakers were aping.

It makes no sense, though. On any level, from the micro to the macro, on a scene by scene basis to the overall movie. Even for the microest of micro:

Aren’t you going to end up on the North Pole then?

But who cares! Thing blow up! Cities roll around! Everybody’s Mad Maxing it to the max!

Which brings me to the odd feeling that everything in this movie is a rip-off i mean reference I mean homage to something else. It’s got a Terry Gilliam vibe to the architecture, the Phil Foglio vibe to the insane machines, and even things like the name of the major monster: It’s called the Shrike, which a similar biomechanical monster in Dan Simmons’ books was named.

That the plot doesn’t make much sense, and the only way of plot development the writers have are people meeting each other accidentally, being in the right place accidentally, or just happening onto something accidentally, kinda really helps with the viewing experience. You can only sit there, gaping, at the spectacle.

It’s great! So stupid!

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