Sunday, 12 October 2008

REVIEW: City Of Ember

Few live action kids film make that difficult jump into adult accessibility, but this looked like it might break the mould. A terrific central idea, which sees the last surviving humans living in a steampunk-like underground city - mildly similar to Zion from the Matrix, but lets not bring that up - which is falling apart at the seems. It had an undeniably impressive cast of adults that included Bill Murray, Tim Robbins and Martin Landau. It even had an Oscar nominated child lead, the only one in the world no less, in Saoirse Ronan. Has it broken that mould? Simply put, no. But it is enjoyable in its own way. It looks great and fun can be had, quite like in the Harry Potter movies, in watching the pay-cheque collecting adult actors enjoying themselves. Robbins takes things relatively seriously, and lends the film some much needed humanity. Murray looks a little bored, but is good value in places, and I enjoyed seeing him playing a villain. Ronan works hard to make her over-eager character less irritating, and in the most part she succeeds. Her male counterpart is a little bland, but I can safely say that the kids in this film don't detract from like they do in say, The Narnia movies. The story itself doesn't quite live up to the idea, and a few too many giant rats are involved in proceedings, but the script is functional and gets you from A to B. It even has a little political commentary to it, but it is far from its main concern. An old fashioned adventure to be enjoyed greatly by the undemanding audience, and even a little by the demanding ones.


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