For the week of 9/15/09
RPP Movie Review
‘9’ though a short title, is worth the post apocalyptic view
By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)
Let’s face it movie goers, the recession sucks and it feels like the right time for the world in ruin movies. Granted, most of those movies blow bigger chunks than special effects can produce, but occasionally you get something that is at least enjoyable.
Though dark films are certainly Tim Burton’s forte, this latest offering is really only his second attempt at a survival in a post apocalyptic world story (“Planet of the Apes” remake being the other). Thankfully this film works even better than the ape retread and is a decent blend of science fiction and fantasy. “9” could have been a disaster, but reels audiences in and keeps them zipped up throughout.
The best comparison I can drum up for this flick is if one took the “Terminator” movies premise of machines gone wild and turned it into a children’s morality tale. The biggest difference is that the machines succeed in wiping out humanity and have shut down, save for a minute effort to get rid of any other living presence (I might even say there’s a hint of “Transformers,” but that would be an insult to movies with a plot).
What’s left of life resides in a few dolls, who are for the most part content to avoid sharing humanity’s fate. Their leader #1(Christopher Plummer) has so far kept himself and couple others out of harm’s way, but that all changes when #9 (Elijah Wood) arrives and unknowingly sparks a final battle. Yet, our main character is not alone in his attempt to undo his mistake with the others like #7 (Jennifer Connelly) at his side to make it happen.
There is that element of man better watch out or he’ll be sorry that comes with this type of movie, but it is not driven to the point that the audience gags on the message. I do wonder though about the blatantly obvious reference to Hitler in one of the few human scenes and if it has anything to do with our most recent or previous commander-in-chief.
The only thing that could have been tweaked a bit is the emotion from the characters and I say this because some moments felt like a script reading session instead of a story with such raw events (The fights could have used a bit of extending, but it was not as important). Still, the movie is worth a trip to see at least once with some incentive to own later for hard core Burton fans and is appropriate for most ages. For this “9” earns a soul saving four out of five stitches.
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