Post-Apocalyptic Ragdolls Shine in ‘9’

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Ever wonder what life would we be like if nine little ragdolls were the only form of human life left in a war-torn nation? If you have, then "9" is the film to see. Even if these thoughts haven’t entered the mind, "9" still packs a powerful punch.

Director Shane Acker, Animator of "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," along with Producers Tim Burton ("The Nightmare Before Christmas", "Sleepy Hollow") and Timur Bekmambetov, bring to life a nation that has been decimated by war between humans and the very machines they created.

It all begins during a period of economic decline, when the totalitarian government orders scientists to research ways for the nation to prosper. The answer to the nation’s economic problems is solved by one scientist, who develops an artificially intelligent brain. Before the brain can be properly tested, the government takes control and uses the brain to build the Fabrication Machine, is used for labor to build machines that can be used for the front line of battle. It’s not long before the Fabrication Machine revolts against the human race and builds machines programmed to rebel against any and all forms of life. Unlike most "man vs. machine" movies, the machines come out on top and wipe out the nation’s population, thanks in large part to a toxic weapon that the machines deploy.

In a last ditch effort to ensure that life goes on, the same scientist that built the artificially intelligent brain creates nine ragdolls called "stitchpunks." The "stitchpunks" are given life through the transfer of aspects of the scientist’s soul. Each of the nine "stitchpunks" represents a different part of the scientist’s soul.

Notable voice actors who play the "stitchpunks" are Christopher Plummer ("The Sound of Music"), Jennifer Connoley ("A Beautiful Mind"), John C. Reilly ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"), and Elijah Wood ("The Lord of the Rings" movies), who voiced the scientist’s most advanced "stitchpunk," 9.

In this animated sci-fi/action film, the nine "stitchpunks" encounter various obstacles and enemies. This movie is not your parents’ animated film; it is very dark with violence, explosions, and death. One scene shows a deceased mother and child in their car, and another scene has 8 sitting on a severed human hand.

The film has plenty of excitement throughout, which will keep those who would normally fall asleep in the movie theater awake. Acker does a great job of slowly revealing how the nation was decimated and how The B.R.A.I.N. and the nine "stitchpunks" were created. Much like the other animated Tim Burton movies, the animation in "9" is remarkable. The detail of all the "stitchpunks" and monsters, as well as the explosions, are exceptional.

Don’t think that the film is all just fighting and explosions; The film does a great job in giving each "stitchpunk" its own unique personality. Despite their differences in personality, the "stitchpunks" become more and more like a family as the film progresses. While the film is dark in nature, there is also heart and an enjoyable blend of the science fiction and action genres.