as on a long bike ride with a buddy. Back at his house after a number of two-wheeled adventures, I mentioned to him about Mortal Engines, a series I’d grown interested in and the megabomb movie that came from it. Not that the movie was bad. It just wasn’t quite there, not for the hundred million dollars they spent on it. So it goes. A franchise that wasn’t.
But the thing was, my friend started warning me off the movie before I’d even admitted that, in large part of curiosity, I’d purchased it. And I liked it – it was good enough. But readers/fans can be defensive and so I asked what his concerns were.
“Okay, so there are giant cities on treads. I mean, how can that be?”
I thought about it as I drove home, bike bouncing on the back rack. How can it be, indeed?
It can be in the same way that the Death Star is a spaceship the size of a small moon (why not just an open structure with crew living pods here and there?). Or that superheroes can fly, run faster than sight, can be more powerful than a locomotive, all that stuff. It can be in the same way that a young boy can attend a school of magic. That there are entire worlds of elves and hobbits, that rabbits can talk to each other, that dogs and cats have secret lives, that dinosaurs can work together, and that cars are alive and voiced by human character actors.
What it really comes down to is that you aren’t willing to suspend belief for the story. For whatever reason, you watched it and the characters and situations did not engage you, not enough for you to set aside your belief and go with the plot. But really, if you are going to bust a story for believability, you’ll need to throw everything out, from Mary Poppins to Dominic Toretto.