BAD BOY NERD REVIEWS: ‘Mortal Engines’ – Epic, Humongous Mess of a Movie!

30-Second Review:

Yet another *yawwn* YA apocalyptic adaptation. Stunning visual effects and MASSIVE set-pieces with lots of moving parts (pun!). Mortal Engines REMINDS me of better movies that it clearly stole borrows from. Did you want an original, comprehensive story with engaging protagonists who exude personality and chemistry?? Oops, Not here bruh!

Unfortunately, ‘Mortal Engines’ suffers from doing too much but being about very little.


Let’s be clear…

I am not a Hater. But I’m finna I go full-Hater Jay on this YA adaptation! As a fan of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, and as a fan of all things apocalyptic, steampunk, and Sci-Fi…I REALLY wanted to like this movie!

‘Mortal Engines’ is BIG and spectacular to watch and energetic. But also BLOATED, tedious, and at times, Confusing. It’s a LOT to look at and hard to comprehend. Somewhere in all this clutter, a story rides shotgun to visuals. For 2 hours we are supposed to care WTF happens to our bland, non-chemistry having protagonists. I tried. I really tried :/


In another case of ‘When Will Humanity Ever F!cking Learn?’, the world’s nations destroy each other using Quantum cannons and in the process, completely restructure the Earth’s surface. People manage to F!ck up EVERYTHING within 60 minutes (obvi titled ‘Sixty Minute War‘). But apparently that wasn’t enough. Fast forward Roughly 1,000 years later, and humankind devolves back into warring factions and slavery.

Someone got the bright idea to pool together our few precious resources and rebuild major cities as GARGANTUAN rolling machines – preying on lesser colonies while the citizens continue living their Best Life like shit is all good!

…in the biggest face-slap emoji-moment in movie history, we realize that the main antagonists (monstrous mobile cities) spend most of their energy, fuel, and resources driving around looking for (wait for it…)


Anti-Hero Chick Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) arrives to save the day, spoil plans, usurp a massive government, and bring her ragtag team along on a seemingly impossible mission (uhh….’Rogue One‘?)

is that the movie plot off in the distance?

‘Mortal Engines’ introduces the main set piece immediately (Monster Decepticon Transforming London City on wheels!), but has nowhere to go from there. Maybe if they built up the foreboding dread and saved London for the 2nd Act (like Mad Max: Fury Road’s amazing maelstrom scene) it would break up the monotony. It’s like, Once you SEE the monster, the suspense and thrill is gone (“The Thrill is gone! The Thriiiiill is goooone!”).

worst case of road rage EVER!

-Unfortunately this massive Blah-fest isn’t compelling enough to care. We don’t have a CLUE how governments are structured. The Bad Guys aren’t nasty or fearsome enough. Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) is a supposed civic engineer with nefarious plans, but so what? And as for the Good guys? – well…who are they, exactly? Why did they choose their life? How do they even survive? Is algae the only food?! (blegh!)

Halfway thru the movie I start daydreaming about better ideas that this movie clearly borrowed from (Howl’s Moving Castle, Mad Max, Terminator, Into the Badlands – every post-war scavenger movie ever) – When SUDDENLY! –  THE most rando subplot EVER pops outta nowhere and ‘dun duh dunnnn!‘ – Terminator Geppetto arrives! lol 😀

I was a GoT white walker extra.

Apparently, our heroine was raised by a surrogate…THING named Shrike (Stephen Lang)– who is a cross between a Zombie, Terminator T-800, General Grievous, and Metallo (Superman villain). Turns out Shrike-Bot was her surrogate father – annnnd in this Opposite World, this reverse-Geppetto wants to turn his already human Pinocchio into robot puppet girl.

I wish I were kidding.  😐

The best part of this movie was outlaw Anna Fang (South Korean Asian sensation Jihae Kim), who added some razzle-dazzle to this drab world, plus a bit of Eye Candy. ❤

Anna Fang in all her androgynous hotness

She arrives in blazing red glory! -all perfectly coifed (pronounced kwaf-‘d, not koyf-‘d) and dressed to the nines, taking azz and kicking names! Before she showed up, I Seriously considered walking out.

Hater that I am, I’m Sure the book is WAY better. I’m sure the full story is amazing. Academy Award-winning team of Peter Jackson and Phillipa Bowens walked though this script and used sensational special FX to sell this Snore-Fest, but first time Director Christian Rivers was in over his head and it showed.

Overall, the best part of this movie was my fully reclining leather loveseat (yaay Cinemark theater!) where I was able to sneak in a nice 10-minute nap towards the third half.

Add ‘Engines‘ to the list of epic expensive movie flops  (Waterworld, John Carter, Cloud Atlas). You can visually see where the massive budget was used. It DOES looks amazing.

Too bad they ain’t spend shit for script development.






Mortal Engines. Directed by Christian Rivers, Starring Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Andy Serkis, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang







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