Thursday, September 10, 2009

9 – Post-Apocalyptic Sock Puppets

When I first saw the previews to 9, the Tim Burton produced post apocalyptic sock puppet adventure movie, I was intrigued to say the least. The art style looked phenomenal and the ruins of human civilization seemed like a great place to have an adventure.

The film definitely delivered on the look and feel I was hoping to see. The sock puppet creatures had many cool little toys fabricated from things like fishing hooks, thread, scissors, candles, batteries, and more. The use of the environment to defeat enemies was entertaining and allowed for interesting Jacky Chan style action sequences. Doing intense action at a miniature level can be hard, and I think that they pulled it off for the most part.

Sadly the film completely lost its footing with the story line. The premise was intriguing and although they attempted to explain many things throughout the plot it was clear that the writers hadn’t put much thought into some of the main issues. For example, the significance of the number 9, the title of the freaking film, is never actually addressed! Yes it’s the main character, and yes there are nine of them, but why?

The story at least explains how the sock puppets where created but never backs up the reason as to why they were created. At one point the writers deliver the line “to save the world” as being the reason for their existence. Even if this is the most cliché line in movie existence, I was prepared to accept it if they gave us a reason as to how or why this is their destiny. They do not.

The more the film got into explaining things, the more plot holes appeared. It was like science fiction writers were relying on fantasy reasoning to drive the plot. Why does the giant machine suck souls? Because souls are fuel for mechanical beings?... Don’t expect anything more intricate from the writers.

Despite the huge problems with the story I was still quite entertained. The environment had enough intrigue to keep me glued to the screen. The action was fun and the art was phenomenal. It’s weird but I can see myself watching this film again, which really speaks for the art style. To get the most out of this film, I recommend taking the story very lightly and just enjoying the adventure that plays out before you.

1 comment:

  1. Darn. Sounds a bit disappointing, and I was soooo looking forward to seeing this. Too bad it is "story challenged". I will probably see it for the visuals and the concepts, but I have to agree that if the story is weak, then the whole suffers.

    I tend toward being able to forgive bad effects, or cheesy sets more than bad writing or a bad story (hey, I am a big fan of Dr. Who, stretching waaay back to the episodes from the 60's and 70's, the heyday of Total Cheese). A good story can make you ignore bad visual effects, but all the good sfx in the world can't rescue a lousy movie.