Thursday, 25 February 2010

9: Movie Review

9: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10
Cast: Elijah Wood, John C Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer
Director: Shane Acker
In a post apocalyptic world, it appears that it's the puppets who will save us.
In the latest computer animation to hit the big screen, 9 tells the story of the world after the machines attacked the humans. In a devastated land, a sack puppet with the number 9 wakes up and suddenly discovers that he is not alone.
After being attacked by a beast, and reunited with others of his type (all numbered from 1 onwards), 9 begins to realize that he holds the key to getting answers about what happened - and how they can live on.
9 is an odd piece of film - meshing Terminator style end of the world horrors with the kind of Sackboy characters of the PS game Little Big Planet, it certainly looks different and has been described as stitchpunk characters at the end of the world.
The dystopian world in which everyone is a number certainly brings memories flooding back of The Prisoner - and certainly with the secrets kept by the likes of Number 1, there's many a parallel.
However, it's there that this ends - because 9 is visually engaging - full of deep browns, greens and bright reds, it's hard not to fall for the burlap dolls as they try to work out what's happened.
That's not to say they're a cute bunch - in fact, it's anything but as many scenes will leave younger ones absolutely petrified.
Part of the problem with 9 is the story - while it's a nice idea, it soon becomes a little too stuck in its own groove. Characters are abducted time and time again and it gets a bit repetitive.
The performances are all perfectly fine - Elijah Wood has the right amount of mirth to be our eyes in this world; John C Reilly provides enough humour and pathos as 2 and Jennifer Connelly is on feisty form as 7, a fighter who left the pack to try and save the world.
Overall, 9 is a little disappointing - with some genuinely scary moments and some brilliant visual touches (some of the creatures are wonderfully inventive and a newsreel scene evokes powerful touches of War of the Worlds), I just came away wanting to have been a bit more engaged by the storyline.

However, thanks to a slightly odd ending and turn of events, 9 will haunt you as you try to work out exactly what message Shane Acker wanted to get across.

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