Mortal Engines concept art

Oh I loved Philip Reeves Mortal Engines books - I read the original four many years ago and am only just working through the Fever Crumb trilogy. I loved the originals so much that they were the book I took to my desert island when I picked my desert island discs back in 2011.

When the film was announced way back I felt a little apprehensive - I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the book, of course not, it couldn’t be. But my apprehension went a little further…

  • I find CGI annoyingly inauthentic. I’ve written about why I like models over CGI before:

    that’s the joy of models over CGI, becuase neither look authentic … but models are real and therefore give authenticity, and with authenticity comes tension.

  • I find Peter Jackson’s films to be overblown and unsubtle.
  • I don’t like modern super-hero films.
  • Look what happened to His Dark Materials, another series of books I loved but whose first (and so far only) film was a disappointment.

But I went in with as much optimism as I could muster. But by the end I felt deflated and annoyed - there was very little to love and all the worst fears of unconvincing CGI, over-reliance on (super-hero-like) action and ridiculously unsubtle plot and script were realised. The heart had been torn out of the book.

Watched: 2019-05-26
Rating : 3/10