I’m surprised at how disappointed I was with 9. Usually with films that I’m excited to see, even if they’re bad, I’ll still find myself leaning towards liking them, rather than not. They end up becoming those films that you hate to love. But I just couldn’t do that with 9. The only thing that 9 really has going for it, are the visuals, which manage to fall flat and lifeless after the first few twinges of facial expression.
Based on Shane Acker’s short film of the same name, 9 focuses on a group of numbered, sackboy-esque characters who are the last remnants of life in a world destroyed by war. As they spend most of their time hiding from a beast that is bent on hunting all of them down, 9 decides to fight back and lead a charge against the beast and creatures that stand against them.
Unfortunately, this is where things go sour. The biggest downfall of the film is that it makes huge leaps from point A to point B and so on, without really fleshing out any semblance of a plot. It’s as though in the development of the expanded story, the writers were so rushed to throw anything down on paper, that they completely forgot that the things they wrote need to actually make some kind of sense when seen in the context of the whole film.
Additionally, the voice acting was pretty bad. With such an excellent cast who have all done some very terrific work in their careers, they all just seemed to phone this one in, and I imagine one would have to attribute that to the direction, or lack of, on Acker’s behalf. Most of the characters feel so one dimensional that combined with the flatness of the acting, they ultimately feel about as worth while as the potato sacks that they’re made of.
I really wanted to like this movie. I tried very hard to look past all of its flaws, but instead only gazed past them and stared right into the gaping holes in the plot and wished for more than a vague outline of what could have been very interesting characters in an interesting world. Unfortunately this isn’t a movie that needs to be seen in theaters. If you’re curious about the visual effects and the style of the film, I suppose you could wait til it comes to Netflix, but even then, don’t expect much.