I would like to watch the dystopian big-budget, apocalyptic-adventure film Mortal Engines. So far I have heard mixed reviews concerning this film nevertheless I would like to make my own mind up. It is based on the novel of the same name by Philip Reeve and was directed by Christian Rivers and Produced by Peter Jackson who also wrote the script. It stars Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Leila George, Colin Salmon, Patrick Malahide and, Regé-Jean Page. I have also downloaded the Kindle version with a view to reading it plus the sequels Predators Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darking Plain also by Philip Reeve.
Mortal Engines is set About 1100 years in the future Following of a devastating and cataclysmic conflict dubbed “The 60 Minute War which saw Civilizations destroyed and continents cracked with humanity barely escaping extinction. The remnants of humanity regroup and form mobile “predator” cities. Under a philosophy known as “Municipal Darwinism”, larger cities hunt and absorb smaller settlements in the “Great Hunting Ground”, which includes Great Britain and Continental Europe. In opposition, an “Anti-Traction League” have developed an alternative civilization consisting of “static settlements” in Asia led by Shan Guo (formerly China), protected by the “Shield Wall”. Relics of modern technology such as toasters, computers, and iPhones are valued as “Old-Tech.” TO maintain old technology, civilization depends on archaeologists. Many people live just below the surface to hide from the Traction Cities. There is also a burgeoning slave trade which has cannibalism as part of its pricing system.
These cities survive by moving, rumbling across the mostly-depopulated plains, crossing land bridges created when continents shifted, roaming the barren landscape and (quite literally) gobbling up smaller towns for their resources. They weigh so much they leave canyon-sized ravines in their wake as they devour small towns or neighborhoods which had to get themselves rebuilt on bulldozer or earth moving equipment treads or wheels, just to escape the all-devouring cities London, or what survived of it (recognizable landmarks are stacked on it, from St. Paul’s to Trafalgar Square’s gigantic lions) is one such giant, predator city on wheels. which has to move and devour smaller communities in order to survive.
The city of London captures a small mining town called Salzhaken, absorbing its population and resources, under orders of Lord Mayor Magnus Crome. Meanwhile a masked woman among the Salzhakens, Hester Shaw, wants to assassinate Thaddeus Valentine, Head of the Guild of Historians. Tom Natsworthy, a teenage Apprentice Historian, is sent to London’s “Gut” to collect Old-Tech for London’s Museum, accompanied by Valentine’s good-natured daughter Katherine. Hester attempts to kill Valentine but Tom intervenes. Hester escapes, but not before telling him that Valentine murdered her mother and scarred her face. Then Tom and, Hester, both find themselves unceremoniously dumped out like garbage into the Great hunting Ground, a desolate wasteland where they face a fight for survival and are forced to work together eventually, encountering a town called Scuttlebug.
Meanwhile, Valentine frees Shrike, a reanimated cyborg known as a “Stalker”, from an offshore prison to hunt down and kill Hester. At the slave market of Rustwater, Tom and Hester are rescued by Anti-Traction League agent Anna Fang. During the chaos, Tom and Hester are pursued by Shrike, whom Hester reveals she knows. Hester explains that Shrike had found and raised her, and Hester promised to allow him to turn her into a Stalker like himself, but she left after discovering that London was in the Great Hunting Ground. On London, Katherine learns some disturbing things from the Apprentice Engineer Bevis Pod concerning Valentine.
Hester and Tom travel to the airborne city Airhaven, meeting with other members of the Anti-Traction League. Tom Informs them about MEDUSA, a superweapon that can destroy cities in an instant. Shrike catches up with them in an explosive skirmish Hester, Tom, and Anna then travel to the Shield Wall with the surviving Anti-Tractionists.
Meanwhile On London, Valentine vows to destroy the Shield Wall with MEDUSA and lead them to a new Hunting Ground in Asia. So Anna convinces Governor Kwan to launch the Anti-Tractionist fleet against London. Hester then discovers something important which could stop MEDUSA. So Hester, Tom, Anna, and the remaining Anti-Tractionists lead a raid against London, then Hester and Anna infiltrate St Paul’s, in order to confront Valentine and stop London from destroying the Sheild Wall.