Posts Tagged ‘Colin Salmon’

West Meets East

Mortal Engines

This Film gets a Rating of 6.5 out of 10 

Director: Christian Rivers

Cast: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Ronan Raftery, StephenLang, Patrick Malahide, Colin Salmon, Caren Pistorius

In Mortal Engines, large traction cities such as London (left) hunt down and devour smaller traction towns (right) to strip them of their labor and resources. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

Mortal Engines is a PeterJackson produced steampunk epic fantasy featuring a large cast of mostly lesserknown actors which sparkles in originality although at times director Christian Rivers directs too simplistically using lots of flashback sequences.

Jihae as outlaw Anna Fang in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

The production design is mesmerizing in Mortal Engines,a story about a dystopian future in which whole cities devour lesser cities ina bid for supremacy and survival on a ravaged planet earth set in the 31stcentury. The main city is a steampunk version of Victorian London complete withSt Paul’s Cathedral and a London Museum with a twisted Gothic design, even showcasing the Screen Age: personal computers and smartphones from a bygone era.

The traction city of London in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert star Hugo Weaving plays Thaddeaus Valentine an evil London city administrator who feels nothing at eliminating anyone who gets in his way. Robert Sheehan (Geostorm) plays Tom Natsworthy, a reluctant city boy who gets caught up in an adventure when hemeets Hester Shaw played by Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina, The Fifth Estate) who boards the moving city of London to avenge her mother Pandora’s untimely death.

Lovers of original fantasy will admire Mortal Engines, although director Christian Rivers could have edited the film in parts to keep it below two hours. 

(from left) Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) and Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) aboard the airship Jenny Haniver in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

The action sequences are fantastic and despite the flashback scenes, Mortal Engines does keep the viewer engaged and will definitely be perfect for a holiday movie outing although its overall effect is not as overwhelming as one would expect.

(from left) Hugo Weaving as Thaddeus Valentine, Robert Sheehan as Tom Natsworthy and Leila George as Katherine Valentine in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

What didn’t work in the film was having so many lesser known actors starring in a film which desperately needed some balancing star power to give the film some gravitas especially as a counterpoint to Hugo Weaving’s megalomaniac character Valentine who is intent on annihilating a static Oriental city in the East.

Mortal Engines gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and while is modestly enjoyable, it’s not a brilliant film despite its original dystopian theme.

Barbarians at the Gate

London has Fallen

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Director: Babak Najafi

Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Radha Mitchell, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Patrick Kennedy, Colin Salmon, Charlotte Riley, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Robert Forster, Alon Aboutboul, Waleed Zuaiter

Iranian director Babak Najafi follows up the 2013 action film Olympus has Fallen with the more obvious title of London has Fallen.

This time Washington D. C. is the safe zone but London comes under attack by a Pakistani arms dealer Aamir Bakawi who is wreaking havoc on the West for a drone attack which killed his daughter during her wedding back in Pakistan. Bakawi is helped by his vengeful son Kamran played by Waleed Zuiater (The Visitor).

Two years later, after the sudden death of the British prime minister, the entire group of G8 leaders plan on assembling in London for the state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

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No London landmark is safe as the Houses of Parliament, the Abbey, Chelsea Bridge all come under attack but fear not the American president Benjamin Asher played again by Aaron Eckhart is protected by macho bodyguard Mike Banning wonderfully played to form by Gerard Butler, both of whom were in the first film.

This time Banning has more to fight for including getting back to his expectant wife Leah played by Radha Mitchell. As the situation deteriorates in London, and the security forces cannot be trusted as many of whom are employed by the elusive arms dealer, Bakawi who is gleefully watching the destruction of the British capital from a café in Yemen.

Whilst director Najafi does not concentrate on a complex political backstory, his main focus is on delivering a fast paced action thriller filled with brilliant stunts, classic one liners mainly uttered by Gerard Butler, London has Fallen, despite the unlikely plot, is sure to satisfy action fans.

With a great supporting cast including Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) as the vice-president Trumbull who is directing the presidential extraction from the Washington situation room along with Robert Forster and Jackie Earle Haley, London has Fallen is similar to Olympus has Fallen but lacks originality although is sure to raise more security questions considering how the enemy is portrayed as infiltrated British police officers.

In light of the Paris attacks in November 2015, London has Fallen is gripping but the explosive action does little to actually make the narrative seem more credible. Like the first film, audiences should expect a high body count, a couple of twists and turns and Gerard Butler saving the day.

As the mysterious mole in British intelligence says, the barbarians are at the gates, London has Fallen raises more questions about which city would be under attack next, especially considering the current state of geo-political affairs and more significantly the rapidly growing migrant influx into Western Europe.

London has Fallen is a real action film, short on plot but big on visuals and explosions. Fans of Olympus has Fallen will enjoy this interesting sequel. A third film is sure to follow to make up an explosive trilogy.

 

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