Sunday, August 17, 2008


WALL-E; CGI animated science-fiction, USA, 2008; D: Andrew Stanton, S: Ben Burtt, Elisa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver

In the 29th century, WALL-E is the last still active robot of his kind cleaning the polluted and dead Earth from endless garbage. Along with his pet, a cockroach, he spots a strange white robot EVE land on Earth and falls in love with her. When EVE finds a plant growing on Earth, she and WALL-E are picked up by a spaceship to the mother ship Axiom, where all the humans have been living for the past 700 years, ever since they left the polluted Earth. The captain is fascinated by the plant and finds out that his new mission is to bring humans back to their home planet since it's now inhabitable again. Even though a corrupt computer wants to destroy the plant, the captain manages to defeat it and bring back people to Earth.

Even though it resembles an earlier CGI animated film, "Robots", Andrew Stanton's "WALL-E" is a better and superior product that doesn't build it's story on hysteria, wackiness and infantile laughs, but on a calm and measured style that gives an ironic ecological message about the attitude of the world of it's time, namely denial until downfall, whether it's global warming or garbage. In the film the sympathetic title robot - that heavily borrows from E.T'.s features - is the only remaining robot of his generation cleaning mountains of garbage and creating whole buildings of garbage on the long empty and dead Earth, while the humans have all left their home planet a long time ago, to a mother ship Axiom, where they have all became lazy, fat slobs who can't even walk because they have all gotten used to sitting on comfortable portable chairs all the time - giving another parallel satirical jab at the generation obsessed with computers and Internet that doesn't even go out of the house anymore. With minimum of dialogues, excellent CGI animation and imaginative story that never forces it's environmental message, but just lightly brings it up in the shadow of all the humorous moments, "WALL-E" is a sweet, lovable film that's more (cheaply) touching than funny. Still, for all the things it has done right, it's somehow hard to comprehend all those rave reviews that describe it as a masterwork - after all, there is still some empty space in the story that could have been filled and could have offered much, much more.


No comments: