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Rare Addict
09-13-2009, 01:19 AM
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa201/RareAddict/9Poster.jpg

Plot Synopsis:

”When 9 (Elijah Wood) first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world. All humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they'll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.”

Aside from perhaps The Princess and the Frog (and, prior to May 29th, Up), there hasn’t been a single movie this year that I’ve been looking forward to more than Shane Acker’s debut film, 9. The basic premise, while somewhat familiar, really intrigued me, and the art direction looked superb. Along with a decidedly darker tone than most animated films, this one definitely looked like it had potential to be one of the all-time greats. But does 9 live up to its full potential? Well…not quite.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa201/RareAddict/9Pic1.jpg

On the positive side (and as one would guess from the trailers), the movie looks spectacular. By use of both the environments and the characters, this harsh, post-apocalyptic world feels extremely real, and successfully draws you into the film. I simply couldn’t take my eyes off of the art on display here.

The voice acting is also relatively solid. Jennifer Connelly as 7, the strong-willed warrior of the group, and Christopher Plummer as 1, the gang’s self-proclaimed leader, are especially terrific in their roles.

As much as the visuals draw you into the film, and as strong as the voice acting is, though, the story feels pretty bland, and in fact, is littered with several gaping plot holes. The movie is also quite short, and with the majority of it centered on the action, I don’t think I had enough time to connect with any of these characters. There was only one scene in which I truly felt attached to them, which was toward the end, with the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” playing throughout. To me, as well as a few other people that I’ve spoken to, that was easily the best scene in the film.

Overall, 9 is a thoroughly entertaining film with beautiful animation and a strong voice cast. Unfortunately, the story itself ends up being pretty dull, and not as complex as one might hope. It’s still a solid film, and I look forward to whatever Shane Acker’s next project is (animated or otherwise). However, it simply doesn’t live up to the potential that I thought it had.

7.5/10

Remino52
09-13-2009, 12:32 PM
Tim Burton is awesome. I love the concept of "An animated film that isn't ponies and rainbows" or something like that. Nice review.