Set 1000 years in the future after a man-made cataclysmic event called the Sixty Minute War has rewritten the rules of how people live, Mortal Engines takes a look forward and a look back. The main thing lost from this event was almost all of our modern technology, so the film features a wildly imaginative steam-punk look.
In this future there are monstrous machines the size of cities and their goal is to gobble up all the smaller machines to power their furnaces, as the planet is running out of natural resources. The biggest of these moving cities is called London and its design ethos echos The Smoke in its prime. It’s on this machine that the main conflict takes place.
Hugo Weaving plays Thaddeus Valentine, a loving father that has a dark secret. His hidden agenda powers the rest of the story as he battles people from his past, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) and present Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan). These two form his main opposition.
The movie looks fantastic with great looking sets and wonderful bits of old/new technology. Based on Philip Reeve’s quartet of novels of the same name, it’s a series that feels like it is finding its groove in the first edition, as it carries a stronger visual impact this time than a story driven one.