I've been psyched for this movie since the first trailer hit at the end of last year. I loved the look of it, and I love post-apocalyptic stories. I also loved the idea of "StitchPunk." The movie takes place in a future where machines and humans have gone to war and destroyed the planet. The machines are no longer functional, except for "The Beast," and the last human (a scientist) gives his life to create 9 little rag dolls that will help continue life on the planet. 9 (Elijah Wood) wakes up in this strange world and is found by the elderly 2 (Martin Landau). But when 2 is taken by The Beast, 9 is then found by the other remaining rag dolls, including friendly 5 (John C. Reilly); the leader, 1 (Christopher Plummer); the bodyguard, 8 (Fred Tatasciore); and the crazy one, 6 (Crispin Glover). They also eventually find (or are found by) 7 (Jennifer Connelly) and 3 and 4 (no voices). And after 9 accidentally awakens a machine while going on a rescue mission for 2, they must find a way to defeat it or be destroyed themselves.

This movie has so much going for it, but it also has one major flaw. Let's talk about the good first. The animation is gorgeous. From the character design to the atmosphere created by the scenery and locations, I absolutely adored the visuals of this movie. It also had a ton of great and imaginative action sequences. 7 was a total badass.

I also picked up on a lot of underlying themes of religion and a hint of religion versus science/alchemy. For instance, the sanctuary--as 1 sees it--is a church, but he rebels against the safe haven of the library full of books about science and whatnot. Of course, there's the more obvious of matchup of machines (soulless AKA science) versus souls (religious). And the movie seems to be about merging the two--not in a scientology kind of way, but more in a "let's work together" kind of way. Or maybe I'm just crazy and reading too much into it, but that's how I saw it all.

The major flaw of the movie, however, was its incredibly short running time. The movie is barely over an hour long without credits (all together, it's 79 minutes). This greatly hinders the movie's potential. I found its biggest problems stemmed from this, such as not taking enough time to develop the characters and know enough about them and their backstories. The most we really get is how 5 lost one of his eyes, which is shown just minutes after you meet him. Sure, you eventually gained sympathy for them (primarily 3, 4, 5, and 7). It was hard not to like the cute 3 and 4. 5 is made purely for sympathetic reasons, and 7 is just an awesome character. But it would have been so much better had they all had more backstory. They were each unique, yes, but beyond the masks and personality traits, there was (ironically) nothing more than an empty shell/doll.

Another issue brought on by the short time span was a lack of plot explanation. I understood what was going on throughout the movie, but then the ending came, and I was like "...huh? Did I miss something?" In an attempt not to spoil things, let me say this as vaguely as possible (though there are probably mild spoilers anyway). What was the whole purpose of the amulet? It seemed circular in logic to me. It was there to release taken souls, but souls wouldn't have been taken without its existence. I was waiting for some higher purpose that never came.

Overall, though, I was highly entertained. It had beautiful animation and great action. There were some fun characters, too, but I just wish there was more depth given to them. The movie desperately needed to be longer and more fleshed out. But otherwise, it was a fun flick. And I'm scoring it based on entertainment value rather than "what it could have been" (I guess that makes me a glass half full kinda guy?).

A Keanu 'Whoa'

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