Mortal Engines begins with immortality in mind. It’s a sequence breathtaking in scope and sky-high in ambition. A young woman scans the horizon through a looking glass, and finds London, yes, the entire city of London, rolling towards her like a steampunk nightmare. She sprints towards another city, much smaller in scale, to alert the inhabitants. What follows is a chase between the two cities, the big trying to devour the small cruising through the wastelands.
This is a sequence that is preposterous in conception, but what we witness are anchors chaining this incredulousness into a realm of believability. A fantasy film that actually opens with a sense of wonder, it’s a lofty bar for what is to come.