10
Jul
08

Movie Review: Wall*E

 

 

More serious than I thought…

 

Starring the voices of Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, and Sigourney Weaver. Directed by Andrew Stanton

 

The Future. Planet Earth. The world is now skyscrapers made of cubes of trash (in between still-standing high rises) and dilapidated highways; it’s the remains of humanity after the Buy N Large Corporation conquered humanity and took everyone into space, leaving behind garbage and toxicity. The last working robot Wall*E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth-class) compacts the trash into cubes and is responsible for creating the trash-scrapers.

 

Over the past 700 years that mankind has abandoned the Earth Wall*E has diligently done his job and gained a personality. His “home” (a giant garbage truck) holds objects of his curiosity as well as replacement parts and an iPod that he uses to watch, “Holly Dolly!” on VHS. Apart from a cockroach, Wall*E has no friends.

 

When a giant spaceship lands and drops off another robot called Eve (Extraterrestial Vegetation Evaluator) Wall*E becomes fascinated with her; Eve, not so much. Immediately Eve goes to searching the planet for any vegetation and Wall*E tries shadowing her, instantly finding out that Eve has a trigger-happy arm and a quick temper. When Wall*E gives her a plant he put in a shoe and faster than you can say “Mission Accomplished,” Eve calls for the ship to return and goes into a comatose state. Once the ship picks up Eve, Wall*E goes on an adventure.

 

I’ll stop the story there with the exception of saying that the human race lives on a spaceship called the Axiom where they fly/bump around on “hover” chairs and weigh about 300 pounds on average. Seriously.

 

What I didn’t expect from this movie was how lonely an atmosphere Pixar could create. Desolation, trash, toxicity, dirt; it takes hard work to make it all believable and to give a “possible” future based on mankind’s current “rate of expansion” (there’s more than a double-entendre in that). This movie is full of messages and might turn away audiences looking for a “cutesy” movie. But then again, don’t most Pixar films?

 

Aside from the “human consumerism leading to obesity” (we’ve proved that) there is the “love conquers all” theme which is where “Wall*E” is the most endearing. Whereas Eve is temperamental and trigger-happy, Wall*E is shy and carries himself in a Charlie Chaplin/Buster Keaton sort of way.

And the movie does have its comical moments, a lot more than you’ve seen in the previews and trailers. Added to that are the references to “2001,” “Star Trek,” “Flight of the Navigator,” and Atari. Oh yeah, and watch for John Ratzenberger’s cameo.

 

My grade: B+

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