2008-07-14

Movie Reviews 06: WALL-E

It seems Pixar just can't make a bad movie. They made:

  • Toy Story 1
  • Toy Story 2
  • A Bug's Life
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Incredibles
  • Cars
  • Ratatouille

... and now WALL-E

In that list, Cars is probably the weakest movie, and it is still very good.

WALL-E continues the long track record of Pixar hits.

The basic story is that humans fouled the Earth with trash and pollution. Then they set tot he skies for a few years to enjoy a space cruise while robots were left to clean up the mess. When the mess was clean, the humans would come back and live in paradise again.

WALL-E is the last of the cleaning robots still functioning on Earth. When the movie opens, he is building skyscrapers of the compacted garbage, and saving a few precious knick knacks for himself. He goes about his routine, with the cutest cock roach in cinema to keep him company.

Eventually his routine is disrupted when a shiny new probe robot (who looks awfully iPod-ish) named EVE comes to Earth to check things out.

Seriously, though, you have got to see the cock roach. The ugly, creepy, crawly thing is just adorable.

Some might say the message about environmentalism, corporate consolidation, and human sloth-iness is heavy handed. It's definitely right out in front. I don't fault the movie for pounding the message home though, because it's not like they tacked the environmental story onto something else in an effort to be PC or clever. It's the core plot of the movie.

The story is tightly constructed. There are a couple of sub-plots that don't really go anywhere (the couple on the cruise ship and the crazy robots). Those story lines look like they might have been more prominent in an earlier draft of the script and got cut down in the editing process.

The script does take some risks that really pay off though. Like Highlander, there is almost no dialog the first 20-30 minutes. They tell the entire story visually and successfully in a way that can only be done in a movie.

There are some great gags as well. Among the trash that WALL-E discovers is an iPod and a Rubik's cube. And when WALL-E reboots, he makes the Mac boot up sound. That got a good laugh in the theater.

The opening short film before the movie is also a real kick. It's a slapstick comedy about a magician, his magic hat, and a hungry bunny.

WALL-E is another hit for the Pixar crew. I'm sure they'll make a bad movie someday, but until then, go see WALL-E.

6 comments:

Guttu said...

I haven't seen Wall-E. But I agree with you that pixar lost the word bad from dictionary. Ratatouille was superb and one of the best animations I have ever seen. Inspired by that movie I tried cooking. I'm brave enough to taste the food made by myself. :D

Perky said...

I can't wait for this to show in Malaysia. I saw the trailer & it looks like a good movie.

pussreboots said...

I haven't seen Wall-E either. From your list, I'd say The Incredibles is the weakest of the films so far.

Brian Kunath said...

WALL-E is brilliant. I would have been perfectly happy with the characters, setting and dynamic of the first hour of the film.

Not that the subsequent events aren't a whole lot of fun (with one brilliant bit of voice casting), but I was so impressed with the feat pulled off in the first half.

And how about that great, Loony Toons-like short? That's the essence of good comedy. Set up the premise and have fun with it.

Mark Reaves said...

I've recently seen WALL-E and must say it's a great movie. Well worth the watch. I might even re-watch it once.

Overall great review. Really gives the reader an idea what's going on in the movie without spoiling it.

ghing said...

I haven't watch wall e.. but we are planning to watch it this weekend..
watching the trailer makes me think that wall e is really a good movie..