Grade: B .
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
(By Kevin Bowen) So, what, you want me to admit it? Fine, I’ll get the admissions out of the way. Wall-E is a brilliantly executed, technically impressive animated feature about the last pollution-cleaning robot on an abandoned, trash-heap future Earth. God bless the blistered fingers that ran around a keyboard to create its astounding level of animated detail. I don’t think any animated feature has ever looked or felt as tactile as this thing. Yet I also find it to be more of a technical accomplishment than an imaginative one. There is a shot in Pixar’s last film, Ratatouille, that takes the
It’s difficult to talk about Wall-E’s teeming environmental conscience. After all, we all love trees. To the degree that it gives children a positive message of caring for the world, it’s admirable. However, the film’s premise of an uninhabitable planet indulges in designer apocalyptic pessimism. Afterward, every candy wrapper falling from your pocket will screw with your kid’s head. As environmental films go, Wall-E is a bit of a dour scold. Along these lines, the film possesses a palpable misanthropic bent, reducing your friends and neighbors to fat and happy dipshits living on milkshakes and gravy in outer space. This would work as Bradbury-style sci-fi satire if there were any macabre wit about it. But it’s short on wit. And that’s disappointing.
Wall-E is self-important, both in terms of aesthetics and social responsibility. The former is truly groundbreaking. The reaction to the latter will be interesting to see. While I’m left with hesitations about what it is doing, I have to hail the effort. It certainly isn’t rubbish.