Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wall-E (2008)

Wall-E is a Disney and Pixar movie released last year about a robot designed to collect and compact trash on a far-future earth choking on it’s own rubbish in the future, with all of his other cohorts long-since broken down. However, it seems that Wall-E does not simply complete his designated task – he has developed his own personality, it seems.

Since a movie solely about a robot that collects trash would have about the same appeal to most viewers as extreme ironing, a complication arises in the form of a ship bringing a robot called Eva. It seems that she is after some item from Earth. (Yes, Disney and Pixar insist that there are male and female robots, however that might actually work.) After Eva finds what she is searching for, Eva is taken by her ship, leaving Wall-E to chase after her.

It’s here we are introduced to humans in the future, whom have spent centuries living abroad a space cruise ship – it seems that every single person is lazy, morbidly obese, attention-deficit morons. Robots do all the work it seems, and do not go to the effort of eating food when they could drink it instead, let alone go to the efforts of walking. It’s here we find out why Eva was sent to Earth, and the reason that Eva was so interested in what she had found, and how it affects the people aboard the ship.

The first part of the movie, up until Eva is kidnapped, is easily the best part of the movie. The viewer is shown the world that Wall-E inhabits, and shown Wall-E’s and Eva’s personality with very little dialog given, apart from one or two ancient clips of footage, and their near-incomprehensible introductions. It’s far better than the standard text blurt we are normally given in such a movie; producers, please take note of this. It’s interesting to see Wall-E puzzle over remnants of our society, with no understanding of what the artefacts might actually be. Yes, the “future people puzzling over our artefacts” has been done so often as to be near-mandantory in this sort of movie, but it’s done quite well here, with a bit of humour, so I will forgive it for that.

The second part of the movie – the moment Wall-E begins his chase of Eva, is where the movie goes downhill. Physics gets snubbed for the main part, and factors such as logic, probability and common-sense are all ignored to progress the story or to give us a chuckle. Probably the biggest failing of the second part, however, is the failure of the movie to take the original premises to their conclusion, instead, resolving it in the typical Disney manner – everyone participating in the story has learnt something, apparently, so everything will work out perfectly. It’s rubbish, obviously, but it’s a Disney movie – what did you expect?

So, it’s a good-looking movie when it needs to be, and ugly when it needs to be, too (this is Pixar, after all, they know their stuff with computer animation). The movie starts out with a lot of potential, but dissapitates in a way that only Disney can manage. If you switch your brain off in the second part of the movie, it does help. 3/5.


Midgard Dragon said...

It's hilarious how many people miss the social subtext, the continued love story, and the overall brilliance of the second half. In short, "look closer" and watch it again. There is no decline in quality, simply a burst of brighter color in the middle. Funny how people think "oh noes, bright colors, now its for the kiddies". It's not, it's brilliant throughout.

Rojse said...

I saw the social sub-text in the second half - how not having to do any work at all led to people becoming lazy, unmotivated, and unintelligent. I liked that quite a lot. However, the movie failed to take this concept to it's logical conclusion, instead going for a Disney-style end, and that does detract quite a lot from the crew itself.