9 review

Let’s get one thing out of the way: The story behind 9 is severely lacking. Conflict isn’t convincingly defined, the relationships between characters, which are intrinsic to the story, are far too shallow to register much empathy and the conclusion is wishy-washy enough to be entirely unsatisfactory.

Unusually, given story is king, all of this barely matters a jot. The reason for that is the film’s concept and the style of animation that fits around it. Shane Acker has realised a gob-smacking broken world almost entirely devoid of colour filled with highly imaginatively stylised characters and wonderfully weird contraptions. Through superb visuals alone, the result is original and compelling, thanks to a great imagination on overdrive.

If ever there was a case of style over substance, this is a masterly example but, boy, it’s a seriously hypnotic style and it is worth seeing for that alone. If only Acker’s powers could be harnessed and combined with super storytelling powers then he would surely have a classic film on his hands. As it is, 9 widely misses that accolade but it thrills nonetheless.

4 out of 5

4th Nov 2009 | Official site | On IMDb