Saturday, 30 January 2010

Film Review: WALL-E (2008)

Director: Andrew Stanton
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): U

Watched on DVD Wednesday 27th January 2010.


As I may have mentioned before, I’m quite a big fan of animated films. I have some friends who will only watch anime, but I have a much broader palate. I very much enjoyed Up (2009) last year, but for some reason or another I kept missing the chance to see this one. So I dug out the DVD and found a time slot to watch it.

All life has left the Earth, it sounds pretty bleak, but it’s not really, they’ve gone on a big space ship while an army of robots cleans up the place. And now, some 800 years later, there’s only one robot left, Wall-e. He spends his days collecting and compacting garbage and making enormous towers out of it. He’s not alone though, and insect, probably a cockroach, is his companion. Wall-e lives in the back of an old truck, where, apart from a bunch of spare parts, he also has a collection of interesting things he’s found over the years. Amongst these is a video of an old musical that he plays every night, and a plant that he found. One day he’s going about his business when a spacecraft arrives and drops off another robot, EVE. After a bit of a sticky start, they begin to talk and Wall-e shows EVE around. She has spent most of her time going around scanning everything she sees, looking for something. Later, with a big storm brewing, Wall-e takes EVE to his ‘house’; he shows her some of the things he’s collected. When she sees the plant she immediately puts it inside her chest and shuts down. Wall-e is dumbfounded and tries to revive her, but fails. All he can do is wait with her until the spacecraft returns, which eventually it does. As it takes off, Wall-e stows away and he is taken to another, much larger ship, the Axiom where the humans are. I think that’s enough spoilers for one day.

This is a very well made film with some great comic touches, particularly in the opening scenes. The first third of the film was really engaging and very entertaining, however, as soon as Wall-e and EVE make it to the Axiom it becomes much more predictable, which is a shame. There isn’t a great deal of dialogue, but it was all done well, honourable mentions go to the voice talents of, Ben Burtt as Wall-e & M-O, Elissa Knight as EVE and Jeff Garlin as Captain McCrea.

Over all, quite an engaging film for the first part that loses its way a little towards the middle and becomes a little too predictable towards the end. Nevertheless, it’s very entertaining and a lot better than many other animated features I’ve seen in recent years. It’s not brilliant, but it’s very very good and I can recommend it.

My score: 8.1/10

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