Tuesday, December 29, 2009

9 (2009)

Crazy ass post-apocalyptic animated flick about patchwork dolls built with souls to fight the machine plague that wiped out humanity. Elijah Wood voices 9, one of nine of the dolls, who wakes up to this dreadful, steampunk-esque world before stumbling upon his companions. They are all interesting, and have well-etched, if basic, characteristics. The voices are fairly nondescript, but that is more due to the sparse dialogue than the performances themselves. The visuals in the film convey the story magnificantly; one ponders if the film would be better had more of the film lacked spoken dialogue. The introduction to 9 before he finds John C. Reilly's 5, and the rest of the crew, seems brief. Wouldn't the 79-minute movie have benefited from a little more exposition and build-up to give the film a more timeless, wide appeal?

But alas, that would betray the spirit of the film, which is ruthless and dark, to the extent that the film is ostensibly not a children's movie. Characters die. Not only die, get their souls ripped out of their bodies. For good. It's intense shit, and the fact that it doesn't put itself on the pedestal by adding needless backstory and contrived emotional content is probably a blessing, not a curse. I suppose it is not a flaw when the only flaw is that I want more.

Highly Recommended for older fans of animation, steampunk, or solid action cinema. The visuals in this film are utterly phenomenal, but I knew that from the trailer; the competence of the story, however, was surprising.

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