It is 1917, WWI, trench warfare continues between the English and the Germans in the flatlands of northern France. Lance corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is ordered to deliver a letter to the front-line warning of a German ambush they are about to run into and 1600 lives are at risk, including Blake’s brother’s. To deliver this message he has to cross the occupied French countryside but he is assured the Germans have already retreated as part of their ambush plan.
The movie takes us back to the early 1960s when Ford Motor Company had a reliable image, but sales and profits were slumping a bit – the ‘new generation’ wasn’t looking for reliable cars, they wanted something more fun, more sexy, more exciting…
When you find out that a movie is directed by Michael Bay, you know you are in for a high octane action flick with explosions… lots of explosions… And when you are going to see a Ryan Reynolds movie, you know you can expect a special kind of humour – mischievous is one way to describe it maybe. So what do you get when these two work together? An all ‘new kind of action hero’ movie apparently. I guess that is a fair description; unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily make it any good.
Neeson plays Nels Coxman, a snowplough driver who loses his son to a drug overdose. Convinced his son wasn’t a druggie, Coxman sets out to find out what happened and soon finds himself in a world of drugs, turf wars, and revenge. He takes no prisoners and the body count steadily increases as the plot thickens and bad guy The Viking (Tom Bateman) turns up the heat to find him.
This movie was based around the story of King Arthur who withdrew the sword in the stone. The movie is an amazing adventure that not only the characters experience but you also experience. Anyone who likes a good tingle of excitement and scare will love this movie.
Billy (Joe Cole, Green Room) is a drugged up, hard-partying, small-time boxer who fights his days away in Thailand until his poor life choices end him up in a local prison. Clearly, this is not the kind of prison you would ever want to find yourself in. As soon as Billy enters the prison it is clear that his jail time is going to be about survival over anything else.
Tina (Eva Melander) is an unprepossessing customs officer at a an international ferry port; she looks different from other people due to a chromosome flaw as she will explain. She also has a unique talent of being able to smell fear and guilt on people, making her an exceptional asset for border security. She is an honest, diligent person, but her facial deformities scare most people off and she feels most at home in nature and with animals.
It sounded so promising; a fantasy adaptation with a screenplay by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who together also wrote the screenplays for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. A small caveat – they also did so for the Hobbit trilogy which was a lot less engaging but still ‘ok’. But then again, the three of them also worked together on King Kong (2005) which was pretty good, so surely all in all Mortal Engines must be in good hands.
The police have apprehended Lee Man (Aaron Kwok) who is a member of a counterfeiting gang led by ‘Painter’. The police are willing to make a deal if that allows them to capture this mysterious Painter (Yun-Fat Chow), who is proud to be a third generation counterfeiter, a man as capable of charming those around him as he is of ruthlessly killing them if they dare cross him.
So first of all you have to go into this movie with the right mindset: it is a graphic novel adaptation, and it is as violent as Jonh Wick, as over the top as Crank, and the lead is played by Mads Mikkelsen. What more can one ask for if you’re in the mood for a fun, brainless actioner?