4/10 I probably should have started 2019 off with a better movie, but how was I to know what kind of movie “Mortal Engines” would be? Billed as being produced by Peter Jackson, the trailer did make this movie look epic, with some great production design and special effects. This movie does have those things going for it. The steampunk future represented is a visual feast for the eyes and the moving cities are extremely well designed and rendered. The movie has a grand, epic scope to it that is mighty impressive. That is basically where most of the positives end, however. This movie borrows from a lot of other films/books (“Star Wars” and “Avatar” just to name a couple) and doesn’t really have anything to say. The cast is almost all no name actors except for Huge Weaving whom is basically wasted here by playing a generic villain. The leading guy and gal have absolutely no chemistry together so we don’t really care about what happens to them. The running time feels a bit bloated, like they only had a few ideas but had to stretch it out to its over two hour run time, leaving the pacing lacking and the audience feeling bored at times, waiting for something eventful to happen. With so many young adult movies now (the “Divergent” series, the “Hunger Games” series, etc.), you really have to do something to stand apart from those other series and “Mortal Engines” does not live up to that task, unfortunately. I think Peter Jackson’s involvement as producer must have been minimal while he worked on his WWI documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old” because if he would have been more involved, this movie surely would have been much better. Junkie XL’s score disappoints and he has yet to live up to the phenomenal score he provided for “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Key plot points are fairly predictable, characters make dumb, terrible decisions (a character murders his wife on a whim) and all the amazing production designs and visual effects can’t save a mediocre script with no real tension to it. There are worse YA movies but this rental at best is nothing special to remember.

#EngineTrouble / #FullSteampunkAhead / #RageAgainstTheMachines / #ValentinesDayMassacre / #SkyRobot / #ScarWars

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