June 28, 2008

Wall•E (06/28/08)

Lettergrade: B-

If I felt like breaking things down this way, I'd give the first half of Wall•E an "A" for its visual beauty, the masterful use of music and sound-design, and one of the most unusual and engaging narrative structures I've seen in any animated movie in recent memory. Essentially, it's a lonely robot wordlessly wandering around a decimated Earth that had become so commercialized and polluted that humans had to abandon it.

That said, I would give a solid "meh" to the second half of the movie, wherein our hero robot meets up with the surviving members of the human race, and... well, a lot of familiar plays from the Pixar formula book start bubbling up. Now this being Pixar, the second half, when assessed on its own merits, is still very good, but it just cranks my wank a little that it follows an opening segment that's so promising and original.

What balls for an animated movie (from Disney, no less!) to take a strong stand against extreme consumerism like this! And what a crushing disappointment in the last part of the film when it does what it can to soften the blow with the thin, unconvincing message that the effects of mankind's greed, excess, and disregard for the environment are all reversible.

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