9 (12A)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Oct 27 2009

Proof positive that originality doesn’t necessarily equal quality, this unusual slice of digitally animated apocalypse throws up some intriguing ideas but ultimately fails to impress. 9 is a stuffed toy who comes to life in a post-human future of giant machines and widespread desolation. Leaving the workshop where he was made, he stumbles across a gang of equally misshapen straw dolls, numbered 1 to 8, who are eking out a meagre existence and hiding from The Beast, a mechanical terror in the shape of a stalking cat. But when 9 persuades his new friends to take up arms against The Beast, he inadvertently awakens an even more insidious slumbering terror: the genocidal Machine.

First-time director Shane Acker’s major problem is one of tone: with its desolate  landscapes, disturbing imagery and oppressive atmosphere of impending  violence, ‘9’ is supposedly intended for adults. And yet the script is so shallow and bluntly allegorical, the characters so whimsical and transparent that even young teenagers may find it faintly patronising. The animation is stylistically impressive, but Acker’s restricted colour palette, with its washes of grey, green and brown, soon becomes a chore. An impressive voice cast struggle to inject life into the proceedings: Christopher Plummer is wonderfully obsequious as Petty Overlord 1, but Elijah Wood is merely flat and anonymous as the heroic 9. This film will surely be remembered as an intriguing failure: a triumph of ambition over ability, of ideas over emotional resonance – just another grim fairy tale for these troubled times.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Oct 30, 2009

Duration:

79 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

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LiveReviews|6
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jeremykyle

MAJOR SPOILERS So the sack people are hiding out on the barren post war earth, avoiding attacks from a giant mechanised cat. All the other machines have fallen into disrepair so only this cat remains. Elijah wood or 9 awakens in a room and has in his possesion a wierd rune thingy. He hastily rushes out into the wasteland after another sack man. Fast forward elijah wood and a few others go to rescue one of the sackmen from the cat's lair. They successfully kill the cat and all is well. Thats right. All is well. The earth belongs to them. The machines are all powered down and their last remaining enemy is dead, and all with only 1 casualty. HOORAY. Elijah wood then mindlessly places his runic device into a suspicious plug socket and brings power to all the evil machines. The rest of the film follows their hopeless struggle against mechanised foe after mechanised foe until all but about three sack people are dead. Throughout this portion of the film Elijah presumptiously tells the others to fight, calling them cowards. Then Elijah bops back to the room in which he awoke but so hastily fled and discovers a veritable mine of information, carefully laid out for him by his scientist creator. He discovers how to defeat the machine that he himself awoke. The remaining sack people go for a final stand and the elderly leading sack man who has kept them all safe for so long and who Elijah calls a coward, sacrifices himself so that the souls of the fallen sack people can float away into the sky. And then the ultimate insult: the remaining 2 or 3 sack people gaze at elijah all watery eyed and thank him for turning up and decimating the entire cast for no reason. Then without any revalation of catharsis the film ends. Awful mindless drivel.

Robert

We thought the film was great! Very well animated (saw in 3D) Not how I thought it would be but a touching story of true love with a couple who's marriage had stood the course of time coupled with a young cub scout on a mission with goals of his own. A great friendship starts and held together by dreams. Easy watching - great family film!

Robert

We thought the film was great! Very well animated (saw in 3D) Not how I thought it would be but a touching story of true love with a couple who's marriage had stood the course of time coupled with a young cub scout on a mission with goals of his own. A great friendship starts and held together by dreams. Easy watching - great family film!

Elwood B

A dark animation that what alot different to what I was expecting. The animation was very well done with particular attention to detail and sound. The story is grim tail of 9 awaking for the first time and exploring the world around him. Peiceing together what has happened and what is going on allows the story to develop while introducing new character. Athough there are heart warming moments they are heavily outweight by things going from bad to worse. The story has a serious undertone but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the film. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy; it's a well made and interesting movie.

John

I think this is a film which will need to be seen more than once, as the number of characters and themes do require a certain amount of grey matter usage. It's a very dark film, but it does end on a note of optimism. An intersting examination of what it means to be human.