What to Make of the Mortal Engines Extended Trailer

The extended trailer for Peter Jackson’s new movie Mortal Engines, is out. While we still have our reservations about the movie, after all we sat through The Hobbit, the trailer certainly made us sit up and take notice. 

We’ve put the trailer below so you can make up your own mind about the film. And we’ve put our thoughts on the movie, and some more info about the film, below that.



Jackson reminds us what he does best – epic

It may seem like a long time ago now, but it’s worth remembering just how big an impact Lord of the Rings had on cinema. The sheer scale of the battle scenes were unlike anything we’d seen before. It’s not certain Mortal Engines will do the same in 2018, but Peter Jackson has certainly tried.

Characterization may not be the movie’s strong point

Well it’s got London moving across the earth picking fights with other cities, so subtly was never really on the cards. Yet we hope the movie is a little more complex than the trailer suggests. The characters seemed a little one-note and the dialogue a bit clunky in that short clip. Hopefully this isn’t a problem with the film itself.

The novel the film is based on has a lot of characters, something that’s always a challenge in film adaptations. Judging by the trailer it looks like Jackson may be using some simple tricks to help establish what we’re meant to think of the characters. This isn’t necessarily a terrible way to introduce characters, but it can get tedious if overused.  

Is this going to be Jackson’s next franchise?

As yet there has been no formal announcement made, but it’s clear that’s what Peter Jackson wants. After all, no-one adapts the first novel of a quartet without having their eyes on a sequel or two.

What’s the plot?

Thousands of years in the future, after civilisation has been destroyed by an almost apocalyptic event, massive moving cities move across a scarred earth eating smaller towns.


Tom Natsworty, from a lower tier of the monstrous moving City of London, finds himself fighting for his live after crossing paths with the fugitive Hester Shaw. Together they force an odd alliance that could change the path of the future.

What book is Mortal Engines based on?

It is based on the book of the same name by Philip Reeve. It’s the first novel of the Mortal Engines quartet, a series of books that focus on a giant London that moves across a post apocalyptic Earth looking for resources.

If you like the idea of moving cities, you may want to check out Inverted World. It’s perhaps a more nuanced and intelligent work than Mortal Engines, and it’s certainly a science fiction classic.

If you’re looking for a film recommendation, why not take a look at our favourite science fiction films.

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