MORTAL ENGINES (M) Great starter motor, but doesn’t fire on all cylinders, NZ-US, 128 min
If first impressions were all that mattered, Mortal Engines would have every movie of 2018 beaten. An awesome opening establishes an apocalyptic future where huge cities on wheels chase one another across devastated landscapes, and engage in a stunning form of steampunk warfare. It is an incredible feat of swift and striking cinematic world-building, almost worth the price of admission in its own right. But not quite. Because it is lasting impressions that really matter for any movie, and Mortal Engines gradually falls away in this department after its amazing first act.