Review of 9: Apocalypse Knit

I rented 9 this week. No, not Nine, the Daniel Day-Lewis musical featuring one guy and about seventeen gorgeous women, and not District 9, the movie about aliens and apartheid.

Nope, I saw 9, a strange little animated dystopian flick about a post-apocalyptic world where humans have been eliminated by the machines they created to fight other humans.

Our heroes, thus, are a bunch of smallish living doll-creatures about the size of a human hand. They appear to have been stitched out of burlap or knitted and given some sort of mechanical eyes and hands, allowing them a surprising range of emotion and expression.

To put it another way, I watched a movie starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly, featuring Crispin Glover, John C. Reilly, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer.

It was a strange movie, but fairly satisfying, if you don’t mind a few minutes of sledgehammer-obvious moralizing for a few minutes here and there. The movie is PG-13, because the machines hunting and attempt to kill the doll-creatures are scary. To be frank, many of them look like the windshield wipers from hell, full of sharp edges and ravenous razorblade mouth-things.

And the biggest baddest machine can suck out your soul.

Yeah. Not a movie for little kids.

The movie’s setting was beautifully textured, with the remnants of the human world popping up again and again, not always obvious at first glance (a torch is really a human-sized match, a giant sword is really a chef’s knife repurposed) and it’s fun to check out the detail of the world. The action sequences are pretty good, and involve by turns running away and fighting the creatures using the weapons at hand.

And you care about the little doll-creatures, which is more than I can say for the characters in some action movies (Transformers, I’m looking at you).

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