Embers online movie review - Doesn't do anything with it's grandiose premise
While Embers' story is not completely original (Memento did it first) it blows up this idea to a much larger scale but it isn't nearly as intriguing or thought-provoking as it should have been.
The plot of Embers is the reason I watched the movie in the first place. The idea of short-term amnesia spread across a population sounded very interesting and brimming with possibilities. This movie could have been awesome had it focused on the social possibilities and scenarios regarding the situation, rather than following a few uninteresting characters wander around while mumbling philosophies. The thing is though, these characters don't even relate to one another. They never meet each other or interact whatsoever. The characters are never placed in any interesting scenarios either so what is the point really? The characters are never developed and the idea of world-wide amnesia is never built upon, so at the end, what really even happened? Well... nothing really. Embers builds up to literally nothing. The only part of the story that is even remotely interesting is a couple trying to maintain a relationship despite them forgetting each other every time they wake up. Every morning they have to re-learn who they both are and this portion of the story is actually fantastic. It feels realistic and understandable. I would've much rather had the movie revolve around this story, but this is only a portion of the film's plot. The rest is boring, dull, preachy and extremely pretentious. Instead of following the entertaining part of the story we follow a crazy man who runs around and attempts to rape women, a little kid who says nothing and displays no emotion, and a family in their underground safety bunker. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I forgot another major character entirely because that is just how dull and uninteresting these other characters are.
Embers was a very frustrating viewing experience because I so desperately wanted something interesting to happen within the story, but as the run time ticked down, I realized that this movie is going nowhere and will end up nowhere.
It did look technically okay, but we only see the aftermath of this apocalypse on a small scale so it was kind of hard to be immersed within the environment even if the few destroyed buildings did look realistic.
Embers is a film that tries so hard to be so much more than it needs to be. It had an interesting premise that held some amazing possibilities but instead this idea is wasted on a preachy and pretentious plot that goes nowhere. Only about 30 minutes of Embers are enjoyable but after that part of the story concludes, we are forced to sit through the extremely dull side-stories that share no relation to each other. Embers left me feeling more than unsatisfied. I was thoroughly frustrated that better concepts and scenarios weren't explored within this idea. Instead Embers gives me an experience that I wish I could forget as easily as the characters within the story.