I’m excited about Mortal Engines. Sometimes a movie affects you in ways you never thought. I was intrigued by the title. After all, what the heck is a mortal engine? Once the movie started, I began to see the clever choice of words. As you watch, there are so many different things to see at the same time. It was hard to concentrate on any one thing, but as the story started unfolding like a beautiful storybook, you sit back to take it all in. The audience was hushed to concentrate on the sounds and background.
The look of the film is offset by the acting. In a fairy tale, you usually have bad guys, good guys, heroes and heroines. So, it is appropriate that you quickly learn who is who. The actors had just the right amount of what any great fairy tale character should. There were many other interesting characters that weave in and out, enriching the story further.
There is a great message within this film, like all fairy tales, but it doesn’t hit you over the head with it. There is also a little humor along the way, with some of your kids’ favorite characters making an appearance and a character for the older kids with a Zombie-like part man, part machine.
It is rare for me to gush over a film so much, but it is rare to find a movie so rich in its concept and so interesting for both children and adults. Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings are ones that come to mind. There are other movies that tried to accomplish this balance and failed miserably.
I know by now you are probably wondering where Star Wars comes in. The first time I saw Star Wars, I was blown away. You had many of the same characteristics in Mortal Engines. When you first saw Star Wars, you knew you were in a whole new world and couldn’t get enough. That’s how this movie felt to me. Even the soundtrack gave me the Star Wars vibe. Not that it sounded like the Cantina music, but the music worked really well with the movie.
Now for some truths: You will have to suspend disbelief to really enjoy the this story. When you see gigantic cities moving across a rough terrain, while people are moving around is pretty unnerving. I wanted to point out the faults because it just didn’t seem right. But then I realized how little those discrepancies were in the scope of this jewel of a movie. The sheer richness and beauty makes it worth seeing. So, when you start wondering about those issues, just self correct and get back on track.
Don’t let the movie title get in the way of seeing it. I saw two movies this week. One is a superhero story that will get lots of advertising and the kids will beg to see. The other is Mortal Engines. Strangely, Star Wars was kind of like that when it opened. It took a while for some adults to get into Star Wars. My own brother was one of those Star Wars junkies who went back to see it over and over. For you younger moviegoers, we had to go back to see our favorite movies because we didn’t have the technology to see it at home. But I want to see this story again.
Oh, by the way, I give this movie four and three-fourths out of five. There was just a smidge of smaltz in there.