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City of Ember not City Of Fire...

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''If you find truth you have to pursue it!''

For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing ... and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.

Saoirse Ronan: Lina Mayfleet

Well where to begin with City Of Ember, where to start. Was quite looking forward to the prospect of seeing this film after seeing tantalizing trailers that pummeled me into submission. Unfortunately the film City Of Ember results in a film that succeeds in said trailer but when it comes to the crunch and the material itself misses the mark by a wide degree.

It's main plot consisting on a child version, fantasy-styled Logan's Run that seems to be hard to take seriously when all the characters appear to be two dimensional and to a certain extent flimsy.
Director Gil Kenan focuses mainly on the story which seems to be the main flaw of Ember. It's drawn out, slow and some characters hardly any screen time or impact whatsoever. The also following fact that Tom Hanks also produced this doesn't help matters.

Performances I would say aren't too bad, or the other extreme too good.
Saoirse Ronan of Atonement glory, shows she can at least act once again and makes most of an impact when she uses her dazzling blue eyes.
Harry Treadaway as Doon Harrow also does well as the male young hero, who's put to use in the pipeworks area after he swaps with Saoirse.
Tim Robbins also plays Loris Harrow, his father who previously tried to escape Ember but he's hardly given any screen-time, although he's part of the ending which has convenient written all over it.
Bill Murray surprisingly plays the villain of the piece as the Mayor who's literally a greedy pig of a man interested in providing for himself and not the City's needs.

City Of Ember starts off with a group of old architect people deciding to make an underground city, putting some daft secrets in a box, handing them down through a leader or Mayor every generation for a period of 200 years. We are given various questions but never answers to counter certain issues why they couldn't make a city that lasted longer or one where you could get out of it easily at the end of the designated time. When we finally get onto the futuristic old styled City we are given a fantasy setting laced with a modern complied feel, we get strange creatures and insects that are so huge but why? Why are they so big and not the people? Why can people grow food and vegetables underground without sunlight? Why do they have to have random jobs when some of them may not be suitable for their selected job? City Of Ember raises so many questions and has so many gaping holes in the story and plot I find myself torn between simply enjoying proceedings, questioning them or pondering at the lack of originality and imaginations in it's material.

The first half of City Of Ember does explain the general routines and goings on of the City and I do admit it was quite nice to see how the inhabitants receive their occupations and the general roles they play.
It's a weird concoction but City Of Ember has it's moments, just more Tim Robbins might have done the trick or more focus on what actually happens when the protagonists actually resolve the escape situation and proceed in saving the others. A computer game called Abe's Oddysee also seemed to remind me of this ballad, the whole escape scenario.
I did love a huge Moth creature on the film which made me have a sudden lapse and peeked my interest, definitely has it's spark at certain conjectures.

City Of Ember, let's face it is for the children, although some parts with a giant mutant mole rat thing aren't for them, but overall it's a tale that's best watched if you have no questions to ask about the crazy proceedings. The fact there was hardly anyone in the cinema and the length seemed to show that Ember isn't as hot as I thought it would be. Definitely more interested in kissing my girlfriend, and having her back home for the weekend, which seemed to be the highlight of seeing this film above all things.
I'd recommend if you're interested in fantasy/Sci-fi/Children's films, otherwise don't bother.

6/10
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Added by Lexi
10 years ago on 12 October 2008 20:07


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