I read this book to my class last year and they loved it. If this movie had come out in June rather than in October, I probably would have taken them to see it on a field trip like I did with my class the year that Holes came out. Instead, I showed it to my class this year at the end of the school year.
The movie is decent enough but kind of a letdown after reading the book. There are definitely strong moments though. For starters, Bill Murray as the corrupt mayor of Ember is a lot of fun. Yeah, he kind of mailed in his performance but he was still good. He's Bill Murray.
I liked how the movie kind of felt like a Brazil for kids at times. The soviet style Singing Day in the square with the big statues was a nice touch.
The last 15 minutes were actually quite thrilling and very much like I envisioned they would be while reading the book.
But there was plenty to be disappointed in as well. One of the two main characters, Doon Harrow, is quite the dullard in this movie. Completely boring. The film is too short. There is a lot going on in the book. Too much going on to make the movie only 95 minutes. The script also added some completely unnecessary elements that weren't in the book like the giant mole.
Also, the book expertly builds up the suspense. The big questions are: Where is Ember, why is it always dark there, and why are the food supplies dwindling? The book creates an eerie suffocating feeling at times because of the uncertainty of it all. The reader is not given the answers to these questions until the very end of the book. In the movie, the answers are given in the very first scene. Boo to that.
What could have been a modern children's classic is merely an amusing little trifle of a film.
Directed by Gil Kenan
Mets 11 Padres 2
16 hours ago