Evil Movie Review: 9
Greetings Tim Burton fans, I know there are a ton of you following this site since we probably have similar taste. Today I want to bring you a review of an animated film that I was really looking forward to with names like Tim Burton, Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, and Christopher Plumber associated with it. That movie is “9”, named after one of the main characters in the film. Continue forward for my spoiler filled phenomenal opinion of this movie.
From looking at the cover of the blu-ray case or reading the back of the case, it might be hard to understand what this movie is about. But let me introduce the concept of the “homunculus” to you. This is something that I have read about in several other fantasy novels before, but might not be something you are completely familiar with. In Latin the term homunculus literally translates to “little man”. In 16th and 17th century alchemy, it became popular myth that a homunculus could literally be created, thus a miniaturized human organism could be designed and set lose on the earth. Many of these dwarf like humans are tinier than other popular imps like Tyrion Lannister. Think on the order of inches to maybe 2 feet tall maximum.
This film follows nine lost souls that take the form of burlap sac made homunculuses. They are cute and scary at the same time, and definitely have a lot of steampunk influence (the scientist that made them actually called them stitchpunks).
Where are these stitchpunks living? In a post-apocalyptic world where every organic living organism has been destroyed. Our main character, the burlap sac being known as number “9” (voiced by Elijah Wood), awakens to this destroyed world not knowing where to go or what to do. But he is horrified by the decay and death all around him.
I found myself wondering, how does he know to be scared by rotting human corpses? His life just started and he is almost a full fledged adult human in many ways. I was a little perturbed by his vast awareness of his surroundings despite just becoming alive at the beginning of the movie, but figured it would be revealed later on in the story.
Speaking of rotting corpses, that was one thing that I actually did like in the beginning of the film. I wanted Burton’s influence, and I got it. There was no fear of displaying macabre scenes, and even though this was an animated film I was hoping it was not be too childish. Though they never show really grueling dead humans, they show the ashen, decaying skin and outlines of deceased humans several times.
They also did not skimp on disturbing imagery in the first couple scenes. The opening monologue referred to the collapse of society after a massive battle between man and machine, and you can tell from the landscape that this is set in the future when technology was much more advanced than today. Our number 9 encounters a fellow homunculus, number 2, shortly in to the film. He is an endearing fellow though he carries with him a wheelbarrow of items he has collected, including the always disturbing doll head missing an eye. And our new duo is attacked by another machine, a cat beast that is all metal claws but adorns the skull and form of a cat. This beast is definitely creepy, and several more machine-animal hybrids occur throughout the film.
To summarize the mission that our group of nine mini-burlap sac humans must undertake, a machine known as “The Brain” that is an artificially intelligent machine bent on destroying all life is awakened, and this machine sets out trying to kill our little homunculus friends. It is revealed that the same scientist that created these homonculuses also made “The Brain”, though he did not intend for it to be used in such a violent manner. To make the 9 mini men he gave each of them a part of his soul until he died (sounds a little like horcruxes to me), but he hoped they would be able to stop the machine and restore order the world so that life would happen again.
Overall I was a little disappointed in the movie’s story line, as even when it ended it still felt a little tragic and was a bit of a let down. There were also aspects of “The Brain” that were not well explained leaving me wanting more. But I will give the movie props for some of the creepiest creatures and imagery I have seen in an animated film in a while. Whenever “The Brain” captured one of our burlap sac men it would turn on this green talisman and suck the life out of them, which I am sure would have traumatized me and given me nightmares if I were a child watching this. And the scariest machine-hybrid of the whole film was this snake like sac that had a dead baby doll for a head, and a soulless homunculus stitched to its tail like a scorpion stinger that would paralyze other stitchpunks if they looked it to its eyes, just like Medusa.
Overall I will give the flick an ok rating. I am glad I watched it and found the eerie monster creations (likely mostly Burton’s work) an A+, but I found the story deflated and needing more. If you are a Burton fan you better check it out though.
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Posted on April 16, 2014, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged 9, Animation, elijah wood, Evil Movie Reviews, homonculus, Movies, post-apocalyptic, Tim Burton. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.