Monday, September 28, 2009
9 is really just a 6
Shane Acker's 9
This last Saturday I got to see 9, the new animated, sock-puppet, post-apocalyptic action fantasy adventure. 9 was one of those movies I've had on my radar for quite some time, so I'm glad I got to finally go. As you can tell from my title though, it was a tad lacking.
I'm not going to dwell too much on 9, it was a pretty simple movie, and I think a pretty simple review will suffice. Visually, this movie is as beautiful as you may have guessed from just a simple viewing of the trailer. It was simply stunning, the movement of the characters on screen, the scope of the blasted, ruined landscape, and the plethora of minions, all creepy-crawley in their mechanical design were marvelous. The attention to detail was great, and the setting was an alternate history similar to the 1930's, but with the twist of "dark science" thrown into the mix, then blasted by horrible war between man and machines. Isn't that always the case though, you can't trust friggin' machines! The animation was pretty much as good as it gets, and didn't strive to be believable, just fantastic. It was visually beautiful.
But, that's about it. The story was flat, predictable, and simple. The characters, these nine sock puppets, were monotonous and two dimensional in their personality, which was a function of the not-so-complex plot. Because of this though, you really developed nothing, absolutely nothing for any of them. If a crazy, skeleton-machine hybrid chomps one of them in half, so what, there's eight more. Plus there's a convoluted thread of a story unraveling all over the place, no pun intended. You'll be scratching your head, 'til they throw you a bone in the form of a half-baked solution...that you really shouldn't think about too hard.
Maybe I'm too picky, I know many went to 9 and came out in love with it, based mostly on the visuals, sure, but you really can't give too much weight to the story. It's enjoyable, but not deep, and it's incredibly short at just 79 minutes, so it doesn't even really fill you up all that much when it's all said and done. I liked the movie, how it looked and the fantastic world it presented, but I won't be rushing out to see it a second time. I liken it to going out to your favorite Mexican restaurant, intent on a wonderful meal, but only eating the free chips and salsa that come to your table and then leaving; you got to see all the good stuff other people were eating, you got to sit down for friendly service, you got to smell the wonderful food and hear the music full of ambiance, but you left empty and hollow. That's 9.
"Gasp! What, no plot, story?!?!?!"