A lot of the biggest films this holiday season are reboots, sequels or familiar big-name properties. Standing out from the pack of blockbusters in that regard is Mortal Engines. The film is based on the novel of the same name by author Philip Reeve and it is coming from the Lord of the Rings writing trio of Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson. Mortal Engines is a YA film with a steampunk aesthetic that looks positively nothing like the rest of the holiday slate. The latest trailer for the film has been released and it is the best one yet, teasing a positively gorgeous film with an epic feel. Take a look at the new Mortal Engines trailer below.
Despite how intrigued I was by the concept and wanted to love the first couple trailers for Mortal Engines, I was underwhelmed. This trailer though I feel does a much better job at selling this movie. It gives us a good look at different parts of the film that are more interesting than we’ve previously seen, and the special effects here also look much better. This film is a visual feast. Mortal Engines is the directorial debut of Christian Rivers, who worked on the visual effects for the Middle Earth films and won an Oscar for his VFX work on King Kong, and it shows in this trailer for Mortal Engines. Aesthetically, this movie is positively gorgeous. Everything from the griminess of the cities to the eye-popping color of the skies and landscapes keeps you transfixed on the trailer and demands that you see this movie on the biggest screen with the best projection possible.
In addition to the captivating visuals, this Mortal Engines trailer further expands on the history of the protagonist and the story of the film that centers on a megalomaniac, a rebellion and a mysterious girl. Comparisons to Waterworld have been made, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Clearly Hera Hilmar’s Hester Shaw is important, but this trailer still doesn’t tell us why she’s special. But maybe we’re not supposed to know that yet and that’s a journey we go on with the character.
The first teaser made it seem like this was standard YA fare in a different wrapper, but this latest trailer, with its steampunk aesthetic and zany characters, gives it a different feel. I’m getting strong vibes of other quirky sci-fi/fantasy flicks like Stardust, The Fifth Element and Snowpiercer (although the director has made other comparisons). Hopefully Mortal Engines leans into that weirdness.
This film also feels positively epic and grand in scale. Just watching the trailer you feel like you are going on a huge journey with these characters. Mortal Engines is an adaptation of the first novel in a four part series, but that novel can apparently stand on its own. This movie looks like it will introduce a whole world worth exploring and maybe it will get a chance to do that with sequels if Mortal Engines can stand out in a crowded holiday season.
Mortal Engines rolls into theaters on December 14. Check out our release guide for all of the biggest movies you can look forward to this holiday season.