Shane Acker’s new film, 9, produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, is finally out in theaters today.
9 tells the story of 9 little ‘puppets’ that a scientist has created in hopes that they can help defeat the turned-evil machines that said scientist earlier created (he was originally developing them for good purposes, but his work was interrupted, and, as a result, the machines ended up turning on humanity and attacking).
First off, I would just like to say that the animation in this movie was unbelievable. It was nearly flawless, save a few scenes where little things seemed off, almost like homages to Tim Burton’s ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’. Otherwise, I have no qualms.
The story, however, is a bit repetitive. The scientist created these machines, then the puppets, and the entire movie revolves around them running from shelter to shelter fighting the machines and sabotaging them from the inside.
One of the best parts of 9 is, of course, the puppets. They all look the same in color and form (except for 7, who is played by Jennifer Connelly), but they are so easily distinguishable that you’ll never be left wondering who said what and who is who. By the second scene in the movie, you’re already connecting with these puppets on an emotional level. When 9 meets 2, you can tell that 2 has no idea what’s going on (you’ll find out why 2 is where he is when you see the film), and even when you’re clueless with him, you still connect with these characters. 3 and 4, the twins, provide some laughs with their silent-but-hyper behavior. 5, who is played by John C. Reilly, doesn’t really have a special characteristic, but he’s still a great character.
6, the crazy artist of the group, has minimal lines, but when he does speak, his one or two word sentences clue you in on so much. 7 is the badass of the group, and really the person who saves everyone’s cheese the entire movie. 9, of course, played by Elijah Wood, is admirable when he stands up to 1 as the noobie in the group, new yet fearless and without doubt in his actions.
What would a movie be without the character(s) you can’t stand? I wouldn’t go so far as to say that some characters are un-bearable, but some are very ‘meh’. 1 comes to mind above the rest. His idiotic side-kick, 8, is just a lumbering oaf.
The real baddies in the movie, the machines, were interesting. There were so many different versions of machines that not every machine could be explained, they just show up and disappear a couple minutes later, which is a bit disappointing.
My biggest complaint by far with this film is length. It’s an hour and 19 minutes long, and there is room for SO much more in this movie. While I say that the story is a bit repetitive, the ending is still a bit rushed and, perhaps, a tad ridiculous in the closing moments (at least in my opinion).
9 is a very enjoyable movie, with fantastic visuals and likeable characters who you really connect with and feel for. Be warned though, some little kids will most likely be disturbed by some of the sudden loud noises and imagery. This might be an animated movie, but it does earn it’s PG-13 rating in certain scenes.
Official MovieViral Rating: 8/10