WALL-E

Rating – ***1/2

 wall e

A near-masterpiece which somehow becomes a slight letdown. Let’s get something straight, this is in the realms of brilliance and it’s still a very good film. Yet frustratingly it peaks at the halfway point then becomes too lazy repetitive and sentimental. Much like the humans in the film, once it gets into space, it forgets its roots and becomes flabby. The opening 40minutes are perfect, a stunning blend of technical brilliance and storytelling of the highest order. There’s no dialogue, just the awesome sound effects of Ben Burt. Wall-E is such an appealing character that I would gladly watch him working for the entire 700 years he’s been cleaning up Earth. The desolate landscape and sinister remnants of an evil corporation are a stark contrast to Wall-E’s eternal optimism. I don’t mind admitting that I shed a tear at the sight of him rocking himself to sleep in his lonely hermit shack. So at this point, I would be willing to declare Wall-E a masterpiece, a landmark, brave and refreshingly bleak science fiction fable. It would be the crowning achievement of Pixar.

But as the humans enter the story, every line of dialogue cheapens the film. It’s like the Disney studio executives forced Pixar to make the film more commercial and kid-friendly, ironic considering the anti-corporate message. I wish they had kept everything silent and dark. Sure they might have made a few hundred million less for the theatrical release, but this is supposed to be a work of art. The rest of the film consists of Wall-E almost getting crushed or blown up over and over again. But there’s no tension. You KNOW that he’s not really dead, and instead of feeling sad I felt manipulated. The sentimentality feels more Pearl Harbour than ET. There’s a secret formula for this sort of thing and I hate to say that it felt forced in Wall-E. This could have been Pixar’s undisputed masterpiece. Now that I have the Bluray, the first half of the film has been replayed often. In 700 years it will be as rusty and scratched as Wall-E. The second half of the disc will probably still be shiny and unused.

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~ by thewholebuffalo on July 18, 2009.

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