16 09 2009

“We had so much potential” is a direct quote from 9 that best summarizes this short but feature length 3D animated film. The characters are made from burlap, string, and small metal parts making for a visually unique film. Monsters and the environments hold up almost as well. The combat sequences are well directed but as soon as the action starts 9 plummets. Almost immediately I felt a disconnect from the world that seems largely due to the character 9 discovering other characters 1 or 2 at a time; as if the director is a lifeguard telling people when they can start going down the slide. My gut instinct was that this film should have started with 9 familiar with at least a couple characters going through his daily routine.

Although all of the characters have unique personalities it feels like as soon as anything of importance is to be learned about them the next scene pops up. What would normally be dramatic scenes serve only as time killers in between enemy encounters. The plot itself is pretty vague and what little is there is cliche dealing with a Nazi styled army that forced a good scientist to make machines that ended up turning on their masters. An enormous production line robot serves as main antagonist but since it and it’s minions never say anything I felt no real hate towards them. The only way I can think of pulling off an antagonist with no soul is by executing a superb survival against impossible odds scenario but that certainly isn’t here.

Unfortunately 9’s shallow storyline and characters hinder it from rising to anything memorable.

score: 60% | metacritic: 60




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