9

Alone on a Friday night, I was looking for something to rent on Pay-per-view and this movie came up at the top of the list. Although I hadn’t really considered seeing it in the theatre, I re-watched the trailer for it and thought, considering my options of “Jennifer’s Body” or “Surrogates”, this seemed like a better option, even if it IS a cartoon. So I plunked down my $5 and rented it and there are a few things about it that I really enjoyed.

Straight from similar pages as “The Matrix”, man has created machine and machine has taken over. As both man & machine attempt to rule the world (seriously…why would ANYBODY want to rule this planet? I have no idea…), they end up destroying it instead. All humans and machines are wiped out except for a batch of ragdolls that a scientist has created to…do…something. I’m not sure. Anyway, there are 9 of them and together they all have their personalities. 1 is the leader (or thinks he is anyway), 2 is a friend, 3 is … well, you get the idea. Skip ahead to the last of the bunch. 9 is the final one in the group. He was the last to be built by the scientist and he has mistakenly allowed a round button that has cool logos on it to get into the hands of a machine. This button has sparked the return of a great & powerful OZ! Er…I mean…the return of a pissed-off machine and now it is trying to destroy all of the ragdolls.

Is this confusing? Because it was to me also. But that’s besides the point. Here’s what I DID like about this movie. For one thing, it was original. Although the IDEA of man vs machine isn’t a new one, I can honestly say I’ve never seen RAGDOLLS be the heroes who save the day. And the animation is great! Not like “Wall-E” great, but in a more “Heavy Metal” sort of way that is refreshing and very Tim Burton-esque (which makes sense….he’s one of the producers). So it has that going for it.

The actors who supply the voices do a good job of it. Unfortunately, the voices of celebrities never really sell me to watch a film because, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter WHO is voicing animated characters if the script sucks…which this one doesn’t. So Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover and whoever else ALL do a good job…but are really somewhat irrelevant as far as the concept of the movie goes.

Visually this film is very stimulating and I imagine it looked great on a big screen. And so I’m left to judge by the plot of this film alone. The storyline isn’t really all that difficult to follow (ragdolls mistakenly start a machine, ragdolls must stop machine). But the ending left a lot to be desired and that was really my only true problem with it. It was if they had no way to put the final stamp on it. The ending is very contrived and we are left wondering…what next? Not that every story needs to be wrapped up in a neat little package, because I certainly don’t believe it does, but the ending for this film really doesn’t fit the bill. I can’t quite put my finger on it….I just know I didn’t really care for it. And that is where I’ll leave it.

Overall Rating: B- (and definitely NOT for kids 9 & under…)

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