Confused by “9” – a movie review


9 movie 2

Rated PG13

Directed by Shane Acker

Produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov

Starring Elijah Wood, John C. Riley, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 2.5/5

Word of Warning: This film is not for children. A few selfish parents brought their little ones (3 to 9-yr-olds) with them to this movie and the kids alternated between scared and bored – just peachy for the rest of us.

My husband wanted to see “9” as soon as he first heard Tim Burton was involved. I wasn’t so eager, but since there was very little else I wanted to spend money on at the theater, we went to it.

“9” was created using CGI (computer generated imagery), though it resembles Tim Burton’s previous stop-motion movies. I’m going to start at the end. I walked away from this movie a bit befuddled by what I had just seen. In short, I just didn’t get it. Ryan also didn’t “get it,” but liked it anyway. The artistry of the movie was enough for him, plus, he enjoyed the storyline.

The artistry was not enough for me. As a writer, in the majority of cases I am a fan first of story, than of the scenery. Without a good, comprehensive storyline there’s no emotional involvement. In other words, I just don’t care.

Let’s go back to the beginning. The movie starts with a “stitchpunk” (the name given to the little creatures in this film), named 9, waking up in a big room with a dead, human scientist and a small amulet. 9, who quickly discovers he cannot talk, hides the amulet inside his body, equip with a zipper for easy access to his mechanized insides. He then leaves the room and enters a strange and eerie world. There is evidence of a major war. Evidence of major destruction and it appears nothing living has survived.

As 9 ventures further out, he sees more dead humans and soon meets another creature much like himself. This creature’s name is 2, and he’s a scientist of sorts who is able to install a voice mechanism into 9. The two don’t have much time to get to know each other because they are attacked by a scary machine 2 calls a “Cat Beast.” The Cat Beast carried 2 off to a far away tower structure.

As the story progresses, 9 discovers there are more like him, hiding in the deserted buildings around the war torn city. And there are more machines like the Cat Beast, out to kill his kind. It’s the age-old science fiction story – man creates high-tech machines and said machines take over the world. Thus, mankind is destroyed because of their own actions.

The ambiance can be compared at times to “Wall-E,” though “9” is a much, much darker film. It also feels like a computer game with high-end graphics, one such as Syberia, an adventure, puzzle game with an almost tangible atmosphere.    

I could go on and on about the visuals of “9,” but quite frankly, I just don’t care. As stated before, I walked away confused and that’s never a good thing. If you are into these types of highly artistic films, like my husband, you will probably walk away feeling as though the money spent on “9” was entirely worth it. However, I want my $8.50 back.

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