Mini characters fight a large scale apocalypse in Shane Acker’s ‘9’
The film 9 was first an Academy Award winning short of the same title by director Shane Acker. The short took the non-verbal Wall-E route while the new seventy-nine-minute feature consists of an entire ensemble. Although the voice acting adds to the experience of the film, the action, mystery, and originality of 9 evokes what a post apocalyptic world might look like for robotic rag-dolls. The vision and excution is memorable, but the western style of story telling deviates this new feature from the original charm of the short.
The characters are quite easy to remember since each is named a number between 1 and 9. In each of these characters, there is a distinction in traits and attitude. 1 (Christopher Plummer) is the leader of the clan who advises the others not to engage the enemy. Ultimately 2 (Martin Ladau), 3 & 4 (who don’t speak), 5 (John C. Reily), 6 (Crispin Glover), 7 (Jennifer Connelly), 8 (Fred Tatasciore), and 9 (Elijah Wood) attempt to stop “The Machine” who caused this apocalyptic reality and “creates new machines in it’s image”. Throughout the movie you see the unraveling of truth, deception, and lies from the lives of robots made of fabric and metal that are small enough to fit in your hand.
9 is more of a mystery movie with large elements of action and solving this mystery is what keeps the viewer so engaged. Acker and writer Pamela Pettler attempt to answer questions with real sociological imagery. The current events taking place now could bring this apocalypse. We worship technology in the present as much as our ancestors worshiped the sun in the past, we are dependent on it without knowing if it would ever turn on humans and we are all as significant as little robotic rag dolls fighting against domination.
9 is a grown-up CGI film with many messages to convey with commanding visual attention. Sadly, most things are solved from the storyline and not left to the imagination, proving that western storytelling has always been as simplistic as the number three; beginning, middle, end.