Sunday, September 13, 2009


You generally don't associate post apocalyptic wasteland with animation (yes, Wall-e did it) but 9 takes that idea to a new extreme. The human race has been wiped out and all that remains is a small band of rag doll-esque heroes and the robot responsible for destroying humanity. This is certainly not a children's movie (that should be evident from the presence of Timur Bekmambetov as producer), but it doesn't feature anything that would inappropriate for children- just some intense action.

The movie opens with the title character "9" awakening for the first time. He quickly comes across and is befriended by "2" (all the characters are just numbers), and is almost immediately thrust into the conflict between the survivors and the machines. The film moves at a rapid clip, and in no time the action is in full swing. This results in little character development up front. Fortunately this comes throughout the movie in the short bits between action sequences.

Clearly the best aspect of the movie is the animation, and the all around visual aesthetic. Shane Acker captured the wasteland of the crumbling ruins of society perfectly. There was not a shot lacking the requisite filth and dust. Every detail seemed painstakingly created. You could see Tim Burton's hand at work in some of the robotic villains, including one disturbing doll faced snake creature. These particular moments seem to be the ones making this not a kid friendly movie.

The film could be taken as cautionary tale about our dependence on technology; or on the importance of the human soul; or even a simple tale of redemption both for "9" and the cantankerous de-facto leader "1". Honestly, I don't think any of these themes are all that strong, and it seems they're simply a way to stitch together well directed action sequences. In the end, 9 simply boils down to a feature length video game cinematic.


Also, here's shane Acker's original short. Almost every part of this showed up again in some way in the movie- and the style remained almost exact. The short gives you a really good idea of the movie.

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