Just got home from seeing the movie '9' and thought I'd post a quick review of it.
From reading the early reviews at www.rottentomatoes.com I had the impression that the story was a little weak. This notion seemed to be spot on, but first the good stuff!
I'm a big fan of Tim Burton and am watching Bekmambetov closely (check out Night Watch and Wanted if you haven't already). '9' had all the sinister darkness and visual richness of Burton with the action sequences of Bekmambetov. Visually this film is very beautiful and engaging. Each of the little sack dolls 1-9 have their own physical traits that make them stand out and each of the machined monsters are unique and creative. I can't imagine how twisted a playground the inside of Burton's mind must be, but it produces some truly beautiful and original creations.
Along with the visual delight, the voice acting is very well done. Sometimes in these films, voice actors take away from the ability of the story to fully engage the audience (Jack Black, Nicolas Cage and the upcoming George Clooney as Mr. Fox are all examples of voices I just can't identify with anyone/thing but the actual actor). In the case of '9' each sack doll was brought to life by vocal talents equally matched to the visual appearance.
That being said, '9' had much more potential than the plot seemed to want to explore. I'm not sure if this was a studio decision to pare down the 'death' and violence (though it still received a PG13 rating...huh?) or if it was just poor writing in the original script, but I felt let down by it. It felt to me like an all or nothing type situation for the characters involved but it ended with a very unoriginal and predictable outcome (minus the glowing rain...go see it to figure out what I mean.)
All in all, I'll give '9' a 7 out of 10. Great action scenes, fun characters and even a few laughs in this dark and original approach to a post-apocalyptic tale, but it falls short in its depth of plot and its unfortunate reluctance to reach its full potential.
Worth a watch!