Movie Review: City of Ember (2008 )

city_of_emberCity of Ember (2008 )

Rated G

Starring Bill Murray

A thought provoking, visually stunning, science fiction movie that’s rated G? Colour me surprised. And it’s actually good? Even better.

We’ve stuffed up. We’ve stuffed up big time. Because of our poor stewardship of this planet, the earth needs a bit of human free breathing space for a couple of centuries. So the city of Ember is built. Deep underground, the city is a refuge for a group of people to wait hide out for two centuries until things get better. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan. An accident means that the plans for escaping Ember are lost. Generation after generation begin to believe that Ember is all that there is. And now the generators that keep Ember alive are beginning to fail.

Two children, Doon and Lina, discover the escape plans, but find that convincing people of the truth is a difficult and dangerous job.

While the movie can be a bit slow at times, I found it enjoyable. The visual design of Ember, a city well past its use by date, enraptured me at every turn. The attention to detail was fascinating. Everything from the recycled clothes to the steam punk style machines. The plans left behind and the activation of the escape route reminded me of The Goonies. In a good way.

Much has been made of the Christian imagery underlying City of Ember.It’s almost as if the apostle John wrote a sci-fi story. The people of Ember are living in darkness. They have received a message from the original architects with a plan to enter the light, but many have not believed the message and reject it. Bill Murray’s character, the mayor of Ember, would make a great Sadducee. He doesn’t believe there is anything beyond Ember. He’s doing his best to make his life comfortable in the here and now and wants to shut down anyone who would interfere with that.

Many times the children state that they need to have faith in the architects. The architects knew what they were doing. The architects had a plan. And if they follow the architects’ plan, they will be saved. How much more so will we be saved if we follow the architect’s instructions? God, the creator of the universe, has given us his word, the Bible. He has told us that the world we’re living in is dying. But if we follow his escape plan, if we put our trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus, then we will be saved out of the darkness and brought into the light.

Will you be like Doon and Lina? Will you put your faith in the creator and be saved? Or will you be like the Mayor? Making yourself comfortable in this world and rejecting salvation?

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2 responses to “Movie Review: City of Ember (2008 )”

  1. Jake says :

    Trust in the Great Architect of the universe? Sounds a bit Masonish to me…..

  2. Joel A Moroney says :

    If that’s the language that had been used, I would agree with you.
    However, the kids are refering to just the Architects. Not of the universe, but of the city. I think the relationship there with Masonry is conincidental.

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