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*** Official CITY OF EMBER Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
I found this film a little odd, or it just felt like it was filmed on the cheap, with a choppy script. Gil Kenan directs this film like he does an animated film (he directed "Monster House", which I did like), with these trying camera moves that don't really add much to the scenes in live-action, and it's sort of tough to make the overall grunginess an enriching cinematic viewing experience, but some of the production design is above average, though it's pretty depressing by design. The decaying underground city has a faltering power generator that needs to be fixed, which is the crux of the film, how will these generations of humans, sequestered away for 200 years after an apocalytical event, find a solution? The main characters, Lin (Saoirse Ronan) and Doon, are teenagers who are given occupations from a pick of jobs from out of a hat. Neither get the jobs they wants, but a bit of trading gets them near what they want, and this puts them in position to be near the generator as the brownouts become more and more commonplace.

The solution to their city's problem is nested within a time capsule of sorts that has been accidentally hidden away after a break in it being passed from the mayors of the city to their successors. Lin comes across it, but needs help in figuring out how to use the contents to save the day. There are obstacles in their way as the mayor's cronies have their own agendas. Lin and Doon have a somewhat a tepid action sequence to its conclusion, but it feels like the viewers get short-changed in the story/history department of the City of Ember itself. I'm sure there was an allegorical element to the story, but it seems like it was gutted just to get to its conclusion without providing more grit to the story.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.

Robert Crawford

Senior HTF Member
Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "City of Ember". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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