Dir: Shane Acker
September 16, 2009
I really think PG-13 is the worst possible rating a movie can have. You can do slightly provocative stuff, but never enough. 9, not unlike a lot of other recent films of the same sort, uses it's post-apocalyptic setting pretty well, as well as some pretty awesome visuals and (highly) stylized violence, but it never really gets past what is ultimately the same story and morals that all other run-o-the-mill movies have.
9 (voiced by Elijah Wood) awakens in the aftermath of a post-apocalyptic showdown, and after meeting up with 8 other "stichpunks" (?), has to use friendship and bravery to help right the wrongs he made happen by mistake. Like I said, the violence is never bloody (no humans), but it is artfully done. Some of the nuanced details that you can make out are pretty bizarre (such as flyers on building), and one of the weirdest things is that the big, slow stichpunk "amuses" himself by sticking a magnet above his head. Harmless entertainment, or "drug" use? Maybe I'm making too much out of it, but my first thought was that it was pretty bold to put it in the film (despite the obviousness that the brutish, stupid character would use it).
All of the stichpunk's have a quirk about them that make them unique and cliché, and you can understand why kids would find them easy to like or hate. 6 (voiced, of course, by Crispin Glover) is a misunderstood artist who has visions, to give you an example. The world in which the movie takes place is fully realized, and after reading on his Wikipedia page that he is a fan of The Brothers Quay and Jan Švankmajer, very surreal and daring filmmakers, you can see how Shane Acker could create such an original (albeit played-out) world. One can only hope that he is allowed to fully realize his future visions with more meaningful content like his heroes.