“City of Ember” Fades to Forgotten
Genres: Action/Adventure and Science Fiction/Fantasy
Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.
Release Date: October 10th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.
Distributors: Fox Walden
Directed by: Gil Kenan
JJ Rating: B-
The City of Ember was created to save humanity, but it was only to last 200 years then they were supposed to go back to the surface. However, a box that was to be in the care of the mayor was misplaced. It had a timer on it and on the 200th day it was to open with instructions on how to get to the surface. Two students end up finding it and decide to do as the instructions command. City of Ember.
I never read the book. The general idea is interesting, but the movie seems to flounder a bit. I dislike the character development. They seem a bit flat throughout the film. There was no meat to any of the characters or really any amount of care. They were interesting because the actors made them so but there was not enough information on them for anyone to care about their well being. There was nothing for me, as a viewer, to invest in. Looper (MacKenzie Crook) was a cool character. She was cheerful and bubbly. Harry Treadaway and Saoirse Ronan were good and Bill Murray was decent. Sad to state the entire film felt rushed. The pacing sucked.
The saving grace was the engaging actors and the pretty cool set design that they had. By the time the end came around I was letdown because the entire film felt very anticlimactic. There was never a peek moment or a moment that they were going to fail, or really a difficult moment that they had to over come.
The good thing, aside from the acting, was that the way the film was done made it more lighthearted than dark. That made it pleasant, to a point, to view.
City of Ember is not really a film I’d care to see again. It lacked enough interest to keep my attention if ever there was a second go around. This is the kind of movie that will fall into the pit of forgotten films. One that people will never remember that it ever existed. Lights out indeed.
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