I do not envy the editor tasked with splicing together a coherent trailer trying to sell the uninitiated on the Peter Jackson produced big screen adaptation of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines. The future has yet again brought calamity, chaos and death upon humans, who have banded together to form giant, roving cities on wheels that roam the now desolate wasteland of existence. Picture The Road Warrior, only instead of driving a tanker, these survivors are behind the wheel of Pittsburgh.
Directed by Christian Rivers, Mortal Engines is something like a family affair. Rivers is a debut feature filmmaker who had a crash course in production from Jackson his whole career – working with the New Zealand auteur since '92’s Braindead, evolving from a storyboard artist, to visual SFX supervisor, to a second unit director. The man behind the camera also won an Oscar for his work on Jackson's underrated King Kong.
From the looks of this first trailer, Rivers is going for it in the spectacle department under his mentor, leaning hard on the CGI to try and bring Reeve's world to life.
Take a look:
This definitely looks like a work where YMMV depending on the viewer's familiarity with the source and their willingness to give themselves over to a picture this based in pure dystopian fantasy logic, but count this writer in as wanting to give Jackson and Rivers' adaptation a shot. I mean, could this be a disaster? Sure. But I'm willing to give the mastermind - not to mention screenwriters Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens - behind one of the greatest cinematic trilogies a shot when it comes to something this epic in scope.
Mortal Engines hits right in time for Christmas: December 14th. I'd imagine you should see it on the biggest screen possible.