I really wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I had rented it from Netflix because of an affinity hint, but I had gotten some really bad movies that way. This one sounded a little too childish to entrance me, and I was not really too fond of the idea of putting it into the DVD player. Bad reaction!
It turns out that ‘The City of Lost Children’ plays in the same category as ‘The Fifth Element’: movies of creativity, fantasy, and fancy in which the childlike nature of the players is just a device to enrapture the viewers.
The City is a construct of narrow, water-filled alleys or canals dominated by greenish-brown water and yellowish brick buildings. Everything in this City has lost hope and is merely bent on survival. People are mean and selfish, steal from each other, kill each other, kidnap each other.
One, the main character (wonderfully played by Ron Perlman) is a derelict human that has no strength of intellect. He is playing with a child, Denree, who is stolen by a group of maniac mutants that use visual aides to overcome their blindness and turned over to an island of genetic mishaps.
Miette, another child, will come to his help and run from the two Siamese twins that run her children’s thieving group. Various adventures ensue, with the final result of liberating children and eternal happiness.
The motifs stolen from other movies are throughout this one. The island of Dr. Moureau comes to mind (Ron Perlman played there, too), parts of Pinocchio, Oliver Twist, etc.
Great movie if you are in for a surprise.