Movie Review: ‘Mortal Engines’

Review by Lauryn Angel

I read a lot of YA, but I confess I had never heard of the Mortal Engines series until I saw the first trailer. An epic fantasy with a screenplay written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, Mortal Engines is set in a distant future in which cities become mobile predators. The film opens with London running down a small Bavarian village in a high-action sequence that justifies the cost of an IMAX ticket.

Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) has sworn revenge against Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving), who murdered her mother eight years before. Her assassination attempt is foiled by young librarian Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), who is desperate to win the approval of Valentine and his daughter Katherine (Leila George). Valentine, however, is not what he seems, and Tom’s efforts result in his exile from London, with Hester his only companion in the unforgiving wilds of Europe. Meanwhile, Katherine and Tom’s friend Bevis Pod (Ronan Raftery) discover that Valentine is up to no good, and work to uncover his plot.
Mortal Engines is absolutely action-packed, slowing down only for a few moments here and there. There are chases, fight scenes, and killer undead cyborgs in almost every scene. And while parts of the story are predictable if you’ve seen enough of this kind of movie, the dazzling cinematography more than makes up for it. And Hugo Weaving is once again a delight to watch as the dapper, dastardly Thaddeus Valentine.

If epic fantasy with a steampunk flair is one of your interests, then you definitely need to see Mortal Engines this holiday season. And it’s well-worth the extra cost to see it in IMAX.

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