2/21/11

9 - REVIEW


By far the weirdest animation of 2009, 9 is really more for hyperactive younger teens than little kids who probably will feel much less stressed out watching Up: 9 is literally one big sci-fi action sequence after another.

The film should be applauded for its slightly more subtle environmental message, a rarity these days. Borrowing from 50's sci-fi (War of the Worlds) and old horror films (Frankenstein) mostly, 9 creates something pretty original and entertaining regardless if not particularly compelling.

Dialog and story-wise this is simple, predictable fare with no great surprises and no particularly memorable moments on offer: 9 is bland when it should be bursting with creativity.

To be honest, when making a film about hand-made little creatures with stitches, fabrics etc. stop-motion really is the way to go. A lot of texture is lost in the CGI, as detailed as it is, to make room for the scary robots and their big battles. Mixing CGI and stop-motion on this one, much like in Coraline, would have been more effective. 

Admittedly, lots of stuff happens and you do end up caring for some of the characters but in the end it all feels pretty empty. The last act is frankly clumsy and you'll be hard pressed to remember anything about the entire film soon enough. With a little more heart, little or no CGI and a tad more creativity, 9 could have been something truly unique.

As it stands though, it's not a bad effort overall but it is flawed and instantly forgettable. Shame.

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