It’s always interesting to see the protégés of major directors make their mark on cinema. Christian Rivers, who’s been a storyboard artist for Peter Jackson since he was a teenager, was tabbed with his first film behind the camera as a storyteller with the steampunk post-apocalyptic novel series Mortal Engines. While bearing Jackson’s touches, and many of the same crew, this is clearly Rivers’ film and it’s an interesting beginning to what could’ve been a major franchise.
Unfortunately, the box office receipts make it closer to Eragon, another adaptation of a nvoel series by a visual effects supervisor that wound up as Stefen Fangmeier’s solo directorial outing.
Simple premise: the world has fallen and now civilizations live in giant cities. Hugo Weaving wants a world ending weapon from the ancients. Shenanigans ensue.
The downside of the film is that we’re dumped into this world but without any context it gets very confusing. If there ever was a film that deserved a long, 10-20 minute opening narration to let us know how the world fell than this is it. Trying to understand what is happening, and why, is difficult and it makes the film very incoherent at times.
It’s a beautiful looking film, with some well used CGI, but ultimately it’s long dull and boring.
A number of extras are included that add some EPK level insight into the filmmaking process.
Universal presents Mortal Engines Starring Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Leila George, Ronan Raftery, Patrick Malahide, Stephan Lang. Directed by Christian River. Written by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, based on the novel by Philip Reeve Run Time:128 minutes Rated PG-1. Released on DVD: 3.12.19
Tags: Mortal Engines