City of Ember - The Movie

City of Ember – The Movie

On Saturday, I went to see the movie City of Ember for the Lit Flicks Challenge. I’m not a movie critic, so I’m mostly going to review the movie from the adaptation standpoint. Thus, *SPOILERS*, of necessity, appear in this review.

For another critique of the movie, see my brother’s review here. My review of the book can be found here.

Now, the movie. I liked it. It was, in general, a faithful adaptation of the book. The major change was the beginning. The movie opens with the Builders. It’s the end of the world, and the Builders, the world’s foremost engineers and scientists, have created the City of Ember with the hope that the human race will survive. Ember is deep underground. This, of course, is kind of a major twist at the end of the book.

Despite the changed beginning, the rest of the movie is much the same as the book. Lina and Doon have just graduated from the City of Ember school system and received their work assignments: Messenger and Pipeworker. They seem to be the only ones concerned that the supplies – most dangerously the generator – of Ember is dwindling. They use their respective jobs to try and find a way out. Then Lina discovers the box with instructions from the Builders, unfortunately chewed up by her little sister Poppy, and they race against time and the greedy mayor to figure them out and save Ember.

The actors who played Lina and Doon, Saoirse Ronan (14) and Harry Treadaway (24), were a little older than the age prescribed by the book (12), but they were both excellent. Bill Murray played the part of the mayor well, and Tim Robbins was good as Doon’s dad. I have no complaints about the acting. Also, I have little to no complaints about the set design. They created Ember! That alone is reason to go see this movie. The exit from Ember is, of course, Hollywoodized and more complicated than necessary, but it gets the job done. And the ending was downright touching.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and particularly enjoyed seeing Ember come to life.