Tuesday, May 22, 2012

9 (Shane Acker, 2009) Review

So 9 was released in America on the 9/9/09? I see what you did there...yes they really did that just because the film was called 9. I bet the only reason they made this film was just so that they could have something to release on that date. If that was the reason then DAMN was it a good idea! It's good to see animated films that aren't made by Disney or Dreamworks that can match or even surpass the level of greatness that a Disney or Dreamworks film would have reached.

9 is set in a post-apocalyptic world that was ruined by a war between man and machine. A scientist used a device that allowed him to separate his soul and transport nine parts of his soul into nine different dolls known as Stitchpunks. We are introduced to 9 (Elijah Wood), the last of the Stitchpunks made before the scientist died. Over the course of the first act we are introduced to the other Stitchpunks. 1 (Christopher Plummer), the leader, 2 (Martin Landau), the oldest, 3 and 4 (they can't speak), 5 (John C. Reilly), the mechanic, 6 (Crispin Glover), the artist, 7 (Jennifer  Connelly), the fighter and 8 (Fred Tatasciore), the muscle of the group. 9 unleashes a mechanical monster (it's merciless enough to be considered a monster, right?) that has only one aim, to suck the soul out of all the Stitchpunks. Did I not mention the Stitchpunks are the only living things left? Kind of a big deal really. In order to save themselves, the Stitchpunks have to destroy the machine and will be left at humanity's last hope of salvation. 

9's biggest aspect (and arguably the best) is the characters themselves. They are all three dimensional and it's clear that there is chemistry between them. You can sense the relationships between certain characters whether or not it is a good relationship (such as 1's authority over 8 or 5's friendship with 2). They are all well written, even those that can't talk! 

It's pretty obvious that the end of the world theme has been done to death but for some reason it's a lot more interesting here than it is in other films. Similar to Wall-e, 9 creates a feel that humanity is completely wipe out (In Wall-e they had just moved planet...it makes sense in context) considering that the only human that plays a big part in the plot is the scientist who created the Stitchpunks...and he dies in the first 5 minutes...humanity is doomed!

9 has clearly had help from Tim Burton since it has the creepy style only he can manage just like Coraline. There is a sense that all of our heroes might not even make it to the end of the film and WOW are some of the contraptions the Machine makes creepy. That weird baby faced snake thingy that he makes just screams Tim Burton. Don't get me wrong, he may not have done anything...at all but it certainly seems like he has. Wait, what's that on the poster? "From Producers: Tim Burton". Okay I'm half right. Still a creepy film.

A creepy yet heart-warming film that, while good, isn't so amazing that it deserves a nine...heh. It's easy to make jokes with a name like that. 


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