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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Mankind’s Last Hope

    Director Shane Acker, and screenplay writer Palmer Pettler collaborate with producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov to create ‘9,’ this fall’s apocalyptic tale that leaves humanity on the losing team.

    In ‘9’ humanity is wiped out after a large, and intelligent machine called ‘The Great Machine,’ which was originally created to help society, falls into the hands of a dictator who uses the machine as a military weapon. Eventually the machine, which was designed to create machines in its own image, begins to destroy everything in its path.

    It’s the same age-old story: ‘ What would happen to society if everything we worked so hard to create, turned against us? Only this time, it isn’t humans who come to the rescue, but instead nine miniature life forms, a scientist’s latest experiment, that each holds pieces of his soul. It is the same scientist who created ‘The Great Machine,’ and he uses the nine experiments as his last attempt to right the wrong that he created.

    The 79-minute film follows 9, the protagonist,’ as he meets the other stitched life-forms, the only remaining living creatures, that came before him and his adventurous mission to restore humanity and finally destroy ‘The Great Machine.’

    The nine life-forms travel back and forth between a small ruin-filled grounds area that, through their eyes, appears to span a much larger battlefield.

    Animator Shane Acker creates this beautifully dark landscape battlefield with the use of dark color schemes, such as browns, blacks, and dark toxic greens. To compliment this dark atmosphere are even darker beings, such as the metallic monsters that are pieced together with the remains of what was once a part of humanity. One frightening looking creature created in the film is one with a serpent-style body, with a ‘stomach’ that opens to store the nine as it attempts to kill them, and topped off with the head from a child’s doll.

    The nine life-forms created by the scientist, whose names are simply the numbers painted on their backs, follow human mannerisms so well you tend to forget that they’re not people, which shows how much detail the animators put into this film.

    The movie works as a puzzle, not revealing until almost the end exactly what was the downfall of the human race, a puzzle in which 9 is hoping to solve even though some of his fellows life-forms don’t want him to.

    The movie may not go in the direction that most might expect, but it does not disappoint. It ends on a bittersweet note that leaves the audience optimistically wondering what will happen next.

    For those who enjoy dark animation with a message that is sure to go over the heads of younger audiences, be sure to catch ‘9.’

    Running Time: 1 hour, 19 minutes

    Rating: PG-13

    Starring: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, and Christopher Plummer.’

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