The long awaited CGI film from the direction and production team of Shane Acker, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov "9" just recently hit theaters. It's a PG-13 film featuring what seem to be puppets fighting mechanical monsters, machines and robots in a post apocalyptic future. The visuals seem to be breathtaking and though I usually don't go for the CGI films aimed towards families how can I not see a film helmed by this team set in a bleak future timeline where humanity has ceased to exist? I mean, really?
The backstory involves an evil dictator that presses the entire world into war. He has a team of scientists try to develop more and more war machines in order to ensure their side wins. There's on lead scientist that manages to create the brunt of war tech but he also developed a new creation called the Fabrication Machine that can be used to help rebuild society following the war. The Dictator goes against his wishes and plans to use it as the coup de grace and crush the opposing forces with it. Just one problem with that...The machines ultimately became sentient and revolted.
Before you knew it, those very same machines built to fight for and protect humankind were now scouring the Earth looking to eradicate them. The world armies turned their attentions to fighting the machines but it was to no avail. Ultimately the machines had managed to wipe out pretty much every trace of humanity save the lone Scientist responsible for the machine gaining awareness in the first place. Before he passes on into the next world, he creates 9 different puppets or automatons with different skills and personality traits that can hopefully go out into the world and undo all the wrong that his other creations had wrought.
The film opens when our hero 9 first gains consciousness and discovers that the world is in absolute decay and ruin. He sets out to discover what's going on and he sees something else on and about in the world so he follows it. He has no idea why. He has no clue as to why he even exists. He doesn't know what his purpose or really even exactly where he is. He figures that maybe the only other living around could help him with answers to those questions.
He encounters 2, another creature much like himself living out in an extremely dangerous area. He explains to 9 that there are more of them and that they're being hunted by a fierce Cat Robot. 2 discovers that 9 brought with him something they refer to as The Talisman. Before 2 can elaborate on what it is or may be they're attacked by the Cat Robot. In order to protect 9, 2 gets captured by the Cat Robot. Unfortunately, not only is 2 abducted but the Cat Robot makes off with the mysterious Talisman as well. 9 encounters more like him a short time later.
He's told by 1, the leader of them all that they've existed since the war with the machines that extinguished all humanity first began and were all constructed at different times during it. 1 also explained that this was a Sanctuary where they'd wait for all of the old war machines to finally die out before first venturing into the world (The Cat Robot is the last war machine left that's still operational according to 1). They'd lost several of the previous eight before and they haven't been seen since leaving. 9 argues that he and 5 should go and find 2. 1 assures 9 that 2 has already met his maker so to speak. While on guard duty, they see where the Cat Robot took 2. They plan to save him.
On the way to the old Robot Factory to save 2, 9 and 5 encounter the thought to be deceased 7. 7 turns out to be quite the little warrior. 5, 7 and 9 managed to pool their skills and after a tough battle they figure out a way to finally take down the dreaded Cat Robot once and for all. After their longtime enemy is put down, 5, 7 and 9 reunite with the newly freed 2. All of the good feeling and the celebration is extremely short lived as 9 sees the mysterious Talisman and notices that it fit perfectly on a machine in the Old Robot Factory so he sticks it in the slot. Before you know it we have another issue on our hands.
9 has unwittingly used the Talisman to power the ultimate war weapon that The Scientist never wanted to see used, the sinister Fabrication Machine. The reason it posed a problem? The Fabrication Machine was sentient and it could build machines and other weapons to go forth and do it's bidding. Not only that but it seems to suck the souls directly out of the puppets/dolls themselves. 5, 7 & 9 barely escaped the grips of the Fabrication Machine but 2 wasn't so lucky. They headed back to Sanctuary immediately to warn 1 and the others about what had just happened.
1 snaps because he's been trying to hide out and keep everyone safe. One by one the others snuck out into the world to figure out what's going on and how to rectify the situation. 5, 7 & 9 oppose 1 and 8 (the big one pictured above). They all begin arguing about what the Talisman actually is and wonder how to figure out the mystery. 7 says she has an idea how to get to the bottom of things but they got attacked by a Robot Raven sent by the Fabrication Machine. After they manage to defeat it they agree to go out into the world to find away the destroy the Fabrication Machine out and for all.
First thing they do is to ask 6 (pictured above) what he knows about the nature of and inner workings of the Talisman since he draws it all the time. Next, 7 leads them all to where the twins 3 & 4 are in hiding. They gain information and catalog everything so they serve as the library for the group. It's here they learn about what happened to the Earth and humanity. They also get some clues about how to use the Talisman and possibly find a way to stop the Fabrication Machine. They all set out to come up with a plan they can take down the Old Robot Factory with.
Although it seems like I've given away the plot of the film I haven't even scratched the surface yet. There are a gang of things that happened in this movie that I can't even touch on for fear of spoiling the whole flick for those that have yet to peep it out for themselves. It's absolutely engrossing, you're stuck on the edge of your chair wondering how these tiny dolls/puppets are going to take done a huge machine that could probably wipe humans off the planet all over again. When something happens to one of them or when they're in danger you're legitimately concerned for their safety. That doesn't happen often for me with I'd term "kid's movies".
How does 9 ultimately bring down the Fabrication Machine? What happens to the other eight? I'm not gonna tell you any of those details. All I can say is both adults and yound people can enjoy this film and get different things out of this film. I have no chance but to give "9" a mos def. Shane Acker, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov should all pat themselves on the back for flawless execution and not dumbing down the subject matter or making it cutesy or corny. Do yourself a favor and go see it as soon as possible.