I mentioned our love of steampunk in the Wild Wild West review. That love prompted me to queue up City of Ember. Ember is an entirely different kind of movie - a better kind.
Scientists built the undeground city of Ember and sealed in the survivors of some catastrophe. They let everyone forget about the outside, but left evacuation instructions that would open in 200 years. The instructions are, of course, lost. And as the 200-year lifespan of the city expires and it starts breaking down, it is up to two kids to find the solution. The grownups are either oblivious, suppressed as rebels or colluding to maintain the fragile status quo, like mayor Bill Murray.
The art direction for Ember is lovely. It resembles a European village with some 1950s art deco and sci-fi elements. There are tunnels, and steampipes, and clunky electric cords strung all over. It holds together very well, making it feel real.
The kids are earnest and sweet, Murray and his goons are evil, and the plot is not so silly as to bother you (I hope). It's really a movie for children/young teens, but we enjoyed it. Not one of the greatest we've seen, but worth watching.