There was a time when post-apocalyptic films roamed the landscape, pillaging better movies for spare parts. That time is now, and that movie is “Mortal Engines,” in which a ravaged Earth’s population now inhabits cities on wheels.
“London” is helmed by a scientific striver (Hugo Weaving) obsessed with empire-building. When he’s confronted by a young woman from his past (Hera Hilmar), he’s got it in for her and her accomplice, a renegade historian (Robert Sheehan).
There’s some steampunk design to like, plus a Frankenstein’s-monster zombie (Stephen Lang) and the gangster confidence of actress Jihae as a resistance fighter. But most of “Mortal Engines” is a wearying blast of CGI and genre-cribbing (most egregiously, director Christian Rivers hired composer Junkie XL to seemingly lift, wholesale, his soundtrack from “Mad Max: Fury Road”).
Then again, as “London” rattles out of “Europe” on a perilous collision course, perhaps screenwriters Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens just meant this as one hilarious Brexit metaphor.
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