“9 is every bit a 10”

I have typed, deleted, and retyped this opening sentence a dozen times trying to find just the right thought and description to summarize and begin telling you about the film 9. It is the 2nd animated film from Focus Features and the first one in many years to capture the artistic wonder, imagination and thought provoking substance that makes a film remarkably memorable. Stunning and intense, 9 repeatedly strikes the anvil of your soul with blow after blow of its sledge hammer visuals.

To call this just another animated film would be like calling Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” just simply another extended music video. Yes 9 is animation with popular voices but there is a dark depth to it that makes it beat with a heart all its own. It speaks of war and ruin with characters that are plain in design and concept. This stark destruction is the foundation of the story and what welds it all together.

9 (Elijah Wood) is the last creation of a scientist destroyed along with the civilization around him. Man and machine have completely annihilated earth leaving only waste. 9 soon discovers a small remnant of survivors under the rule of 1 (Christopher Plummer), an old man set against finding answers and content with living in hiding. When 9 and 5 (John C. Reilly) set off to save 2 (Martin Landau) from a ruthless, robotic, mother of a thing they discover a secret that will either destroy them or set them on a path of renewal. But only if they can survive.

This film has little in the way of feel good moments. Though there are a few humorous lines and the characters grab your heart with their expressions and form this movie is violently heavy. The previews give 9 and the gang “Wall-E type” eye movements and you think this will be something that you can enjoy mentally and your kids will laugh at the funny little creatures. Think again.

9 is rated PG-13 for violence and scary images. You can probably get away with your 11 and up family members but younger kids will not only be lost in the story they will probably be more than shocked by the loud metallic monsters that are bent on destroying in numbers. Imagine Woody being ripped limb from limb and mangled in a wood chipper. Now you get the picture. Lack of humor aside 9 is possibly the most perfect animated, older audience film I have seen. I can’t find anything wrong with it. at 79 minutes in length it tells its story with little fluff. It blows your mind with its visuals and moves your heart with the core of its plot.

I give it 5 out of 5 sown up potato sacks. A must see for those who love the art of animation and are willing to put aside any preconceived notions of what the genre should be. As the line from the film so prophetically states, “We had such potential. Such promise. But we squandered our gifts.” Something to think about for sure. So says Matt Mungle

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com) (9/08/09)

(5 out of 5)

Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

Be Sociable, Share!