The Mortal Engines came out to New York Comic Con in a big way. While New York convention is much more likely to have a lot of TV coverage several studios, including Universal Pictures, who brought the movie to Madison Square Garden. Moderator Andy Serkis came out and teased the audience with how much footage they were going to show us going from eight, to twelve, all the way up to the first twenty-five minutes of the movie. Since that is in no way the entire review but more of a first impressions of the first portion of the movie.
As far as first acts go it’s a pretty good one. We get some exposition about how we got here and then we spent a decent amount of time learning about this world. The “show don’t tell” is very much in effect. We spend some time in the museum and seeing some “historical artifacts” that really drive how the fact that this is world that far removed from our own. There is also the good news that a decent portion of the trailers are from this first twenty five minutes.
It sets up the world of London and tells us a bit about what type of society we’re dealing with. The movie very clearly lays down where people fall and what the power structure of this world is. The real interesting thing comes down to the fact that the predator cities are all very, very well designed. They are these giant moving behemoths but, at the same time, they are also clearly places where people live. They look lived in and work in a way that feels as realistic as something like this really could. The first act ends with a big change in the status quo for our main characters as the reality of the situation becomes all too apparent for all involved.
This is a movie looking to start off a new franchise in a month surrounded by sequels and remakes. There was clearly a lot of love and work put into that first act; now we just have to see if it can stick the landing.
Summary: Many years after the “Sixty Minute War,” cities survive a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.
Mortal Engines, directed by Christian Rivers, stars Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Frankie Adams, Caren Pistorius, Stephen Lang, and Robert Sheehan. It will be released on December 18th.