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Tag: Robert Sheehan

QuickView: Mortal Engines (2018)

Mortal Engines poster

“We have to stop London before it destroys us.”

Anna Fang

Written by Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson, and directed by Jackson’s protégé, there were clearly high hopes that Mortal Engines would spark a new blockbuster fantasy film franchise. There is creativity in the absurd notion of roving motorised cities in a post-apocalyptic landscape, and seeing a monstrous London chase down and swallow a smaller town whole provides breathtaking spectacle. The world building on display is truly impressive. Unfortunately the script struggles to balance this against compelling storytelling when we don’t care about the characters as individuals, the stakes drop considerably. Hugo Weaving is the film’s strongest presence, charismatic and driven. Fresh big budget spectacle is a welcome change in an industry beholden to sequels but Mortal Engines fails to justify further investment.


QuickView: Mute (2018)

“He doesn’t need words.”


It is unsurprising that, after the lukewarm reception of Warcraft, Duncan Jones chose to return to smaller scale sci-fi. The relative freedom of Netflix funding was squandered on the tale of a mute bartender searching for his missing girlfriend in near-future Berlin. Near-silent protagonists taking on criminal elements invariably means style over substance, though both Drive and Baby Driver have shown it can be successful. Although the cyberpunk visuals are impressive, they are little more than a painted backdrop for uninteresting characters in a messy story that veers into uncomfortable territory due to poor handling of its darker subject matter. The setting invites an unflattering comparison with Blade Runner, seeking to evoke its atmosphere without any world building (the best attempts being the nods to Mute existing in the same universe as Jones’ debut Moon).


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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