Thursday, January 8, 2009

City of Ember Review

City of Ember had a dismal run at the box office. It had a production budget of 55 Million dollars but hasn't even made 8 million since it was released last October. I think it the guy who promoted this movie is the also the agent for the Lochness monster and Bigfoot. Like most movies based on a book it may have a hard time living up to the reader's imagination, but fortunately for me I didn't have any expectations to compete with.

The movie is a story of an underground City called Ember. It was designed to support life for 200 years until it is safe for it's inhabitants to return to the earth's surface. The problem is that the architects escape plans from the city have been lost for decades. The main generator is breaking down and the city is worn out and is almost out of resources. Those who suspect the end is near are not allowed to venture out or find a way to escape. Two teenagers come across the box containing the escape route but it's contents have been damaged and they are forced to put together the puzzle pieces throughout the movie as they race against the clock and corrupt leaders who are trying to stop them.

I thought this movie did a great job portraying the feel of an underground city. It was dark and archaic and depressing and reminded me of life in the former Soviet Union. The massive sets and stages used to portray the city were impressive. The visual imagery was my favorite part of the movie. There was not one strikingly attractive character in the entire movie. The only cute face was the little toddler Poppy. It seemed that they were trying to make Ember as visually unappealing as possible and they even carried this over to the casting. (No offense to the actors.)

I enjoyed the first part of the film much more than the latter. That seems to be a common complaint I have with many movies. There were several bothersome details I could pick apart but I think I'm going to cut it some slack since it's a sci-fi film aimed at a younger audience. I've always been a Bill Murray fan and it was weird seeing his cast as the corrupt mayor but he did a good job despite the odd lethargic nature of his character.

If you are looking for a movie to take the family to then this is probably a good choice. It's rated PG and there are some intense moments, but it's a happy ending. It's not the greatest movie and it certainly has it's shortcomings but overall it was entertaining. I'd give it 7.0 out of 10 stars.

1 comment:

MikkSolo said...

Thanks for the advise on a good family film. Especially one that is not animated. We will check it out soon.

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