If you thought the dire warnings of global self-destruction in Wall-E were a little too light-hearted, have I got an animated movie for you! Shane Acker’s 9 (based on his short film of the same name…and number) seemingly proposes that we’re all doomed, so why the hell bother? (I forgot to check the concession stand to see if they were offering end-of-life counseling). Boy, has it been a depressing summer for science fiction! District 9 asked, “What’s more powerful than the first human/alien contact? Huge, heartless corporations.” Torchwood: Children of Earth taunted, “See this guy you’ve invested two years of your life in? He’s actually irredeemable!” Transformers 2…well…Transformers 2! And now this. I hesitate to call 9 a cautionary tale, because it seems to be cautioning against building giant evil robots, and I hope we’re smart enough to only build happy, benign robots that then turn evil later on.
But build them, we did. And they turned against us. And then they destroyed everything (except the stuff they didn’t destroy). And then they were destroyed by the stuff they didn’t destroy somehow. But then whoever did that left the means to revive the robots just lying around. And now we have 9. The title character, 9, wakes up in Edward Scissorhands to find his creator has died and left him a little unfinished. So, instead of hanging around with the moldering corpse and trying to find out who and what he is, he jumps out the window and begins his grand adventure to make post-apocalyptic life a little more difficult for everyone he encounters. If this were a live action movie, I can see 9 being played by Steve Martin or perhaps Bengt Ekerot, who played Death in Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. He’s that useful to have around. And speaking of moldering corpses, this movie has plenty of them, including a mother holding her child in mid-escape…fruitless, pointless, tragic escape. Can’t wait for the Saturday morning cartoon!
Oh, it gets worse…after the jump!