On December 4, the film Mortal Engines in the Netherlands premiered and we were there. In a full IMAX theater, filled with half of the Netherlands, the film was screened with the latest technology. Unfortunately it went wrong for a while, but that actually brought the mood even more. Eventually the movie started ...
My expectations were high because this film was made by the same makers as 'The Lord of the Rings', 'King Kong' and 'The Hobbit'. Pure blockbusters. It is precisely because of these high expectations that a film can be disappointing. In this case that does not happen, or perhaps at most a tiny bit. The film Mortal Engines, however, you know from the very first second to catch and you do not let go 128 minutes. What an action, what an adventure, what a wonderful film to watch.
In Mortal Engines you go further in time
We go further into the time that our life from here and now is seen as 'the time of the ancients'. Due to a catastrophic event, we have destroyed civilization. The living conditions are extreme and food and fuel are scarce. This has created colossal cities where people live and who, through huge caterpillars, roll across the earth to plunder smaller cities. Smaller cities are being swallowed up by these robber towns. 'London' is such a huge city of robberies that thunders across the earth.
Great to see and amazingly fun, although I immediately had to think of the book by Paul Biegel 'The little big captain'. In this book the little captain ends up in The Ghost Town, among other places. A floating city on the sea. Since Paul Biegel can write wonderfully fine, I had proposed this floating city exactly the same as these robbery cities. Except the caterpillars then, because you do not need them at sea.
Is the fantasy up?
In addition to the similarities with The Ghost Town, more similarities can be found in the film. For example, the airships, these look quite the same as a number of the flying objects in the computer game Spore. And the idea of a bald plucked earth, we have also often encountered, think of classic 'Mad Max'.
I do not think the film really innovative. The director, however, knows everything spectacularly to bring and that makes a lot of good. It is fantastic to see how the predatory city of London manages to slur a small German mining town, while about a hundred people are cheering on a platform, as if they were watching a football game. Incidentally, these images immediately reminded me of The Hunger Games. Or the movie can compete with for example The Lord of the rings? No, I do not think so. For that I certainly do not think the film is innovative enough.
The atmosphere in Mortal Engines is gray and everything comes from the will to survive. Despite the fact that the story is exciting, your imagination is stimulated and the actions follow each other quickly, I personally find the story here and there showing some thin spots. For example, the robot Shrike, an undead robo-killing machine, who took care of the young Hester Shaw. His role is not completely clear to me. First he wants to kill her and then not again. It would have been a lot of trouble if he had not been so vindictive from the beginning, but okay, then the film would have been an hour shorter. The robot looks pretty cool, by the way.
Worth the effort?
Is Mortal Engines worth the effort? Yes definitely. And this is really a film that you have to see in the cinema. It is a huge spectacle and it all looks very truthful. The fact that there are some thin spots in the story here and there ultimately does not matter. You get what you can expect from an action movie and even a bit more. It has been the most fascinating film of the past period. The beautiful sound and the beautiful image in the IMAX, of course, contributes to that. If you are planning to watch the film, do it especially in the IMAX theater in Amsterdam, so that you can enjoy the latest IMAX technology and be embraced by the film.