Director: Gil Kenan
City of Ember is a bizarre little film set hundreds of years in the future in an underground city where everything has its function and everyone has their place. When the generator that the city relies on begins to fail, two youths try and puzzle out a way to escape the doomed city and save the inhabitants.
The underlying premise is that the city was built some 250 years before by a group of scientists (the Builders) in order to save some remnant of human civilization from a poisoned planet. They calculated that 200 years would be sufficient time for the earth to heal itself, but the timer/box was lost some 47 years before the 200 year deadline. Without the instructions in the box to tell the residents of Ember to leave, they didn’t, hence the lack of supplies and the city’s crumbling around them.
It’s a quirky little story, especially considering that the inspiration comes from the Young Adult section at the local library. Overall the film isn’t that interesting, or logically satisfying, but having never read the originating book itself, I’m reasonably satisfied with the film on the whole. It certainly fits within the dystopian scope of “What happens after?” in a clever way, with generation after generation locked away underground, even if this amazing underworld does look more steam punk than high tech.
Review Date: 2010-06-14
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0970411/