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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.71%
Average: 5.88%
Pretty Bad: 6.86%
Total Crap: 2.94%

6 reviews, 66 user ratings

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by brianorndorf

"This review now approved by VH1!"
2 stars

Pixar as a formidable storytelling machine is not an entity I’m entirely comfortable with. The studio has turned itself into a faceless animation brand name, and while I can’t argue the box office numbers, I’m not buying the artistic results. “Wall-E” is Pixar’s biggest creative gamble in over a decade; a genuine cinematic leap of faith. However, the ambition doesn’t match the outcome, and while “Wall-E” dances whimsically, it’s a plodding, frighteningly hypocritical, and forbidding film that trips over its fogged intentions at every dreary turn.

It’s 800 years into the future, and Earth is left in a pile of ruins, with garbage piled as high as skyscrapers and the landscape a sickly shade of brown. The last robot left on the planet is Wall-E, a compactor machine who dutifully carries out his business cleaning up the land while he dreams of companionship, fueled by repetitive screenings of “Hello Dolly” and indulging his childlike curiosity whenever he can. Sent to Earth to retrieve signs of life is Eve, a probe droid who Wall-E is instantly smitten with, and the two form a startling bond. When Eve finds a plant sample on the dead planet, she’s snatched back to the pathetic remnants of the human race for questioning, leaving Wall-E ready to hitch a ride off Earth to remain with her.

It’s easy to become wrapped up in the light show director Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”) fires off with “Wall-E.” It’s a film seemingly constructed with a mind toward pure simplicity: our hero, Wall-E, is a robot who only speaks in electronic tones, participates in plenty of slapstick inquisitiveness, and all he wants is love. It’s a veritable Pixar to-do list of elementary visual gags, and “Wall-E” indulges every scrap of physical comedy available for the first third of the picture (nearly completely free of dialogue), even handing the robot a traditional best pal of sorts in a loyal cockroach. This is the comfortable, reassuring padding that Pixar could accomplish with their eyes closed, with Wall-E decked out in full cute mode to help ease the audience into this bleak, post-apocalyptic world that few G-rated animated projects would dare consider.

Where “Wall-E” heads next is sure to divide audiences. Following Eve into space, Wall-E boards the “Axiom,” a huge cruise space ship that’s home to the loose ends of the human race. You see, in the 700-years since mankind bolted from Earth, they’ve evolved into overweight blobs of pudding, nurtured by the Buy-N-Large Corporation who use humans to feed the endless, aggressive cycles of profitable consumption, leaving them helpless and totally enslaved to commercial trends. The human characters are obese nincompoops who’ve lost the ability to walk eons ago, puttering around on floating chairs waiting impatiently for their next needless desire to be force fed to them by the all-powerful corporate machine.

Here’s where I remind everyone this is a Pixar/Disney picture. Pixar/Disney. Decrying greed.

It’s a pretty ballsy move to create a film condemning the culture of gluttony and corporate insatiability while indulging in those practices to market a film (kids, make sure to buy a Wall-E toy on the way out!), and it opens a can of worms that Stanton has no idea how to properly sort to dramatic satisfaction. “Wall-E” paints in massive brush strokes, attempting to educate younger audience members with horrific vistas of a polluted, wasted Earth and the overall piggish behavior of the humans, while also making sure Wall-E is endearing enough to use on games, toys, and stuffed animals so all concerned make a mint off of vulnerable family audiences.

If “Wall-E” was a scrappy independent film emerging from, say, the great Ralph Bakshi, the contrast and violent condemnation would’ve been a total gas. Coming from Pixar/Disney, it feels… discourteous, or, at the very least, corrosive and incompetent. The overall finger of intolerance is wagged with gale force winds here; a fascinating momentum lost on a picture easily 30 minutes overlong. “Wall-E” doesn’t have much adventure on its mind, nesting comfortably in the details of cutesy robot behavior and mad lunges toward audience sympathy, but there’s no dramatic spine keeping the film a riveting sit. Still, Stanton pushes forward, drawing out Wall-E’s lust past the expiration date and into full-out repetition.

I’m the first guy to applaud a Pixar film not entirely swathed in cliché, but the spark of the film is in constant threat of being snuffed out by the habitual elongation of the ice-thin story. I wasn’t moved by Wall-E’s Chaplinesque mishaps and intergalactic dreams, just agitated that Stanton doesn’t take the character past infantilization or offer something more than pratfalls for our hero to undertake. Wall-E’s shtick tires quickly.

To some, Wall-E is an adorable character with rich emotional professions, and that’s all the cinematic nutrition they need from this picture. I craved that sensation while watching “Wall-E,” but it never arrived. Instead I was left bored and insulted by a misguided, preachy film riddled with absurd messages and run into the ground by complete storytelling lethargy. But that Wall-E sure is cute, huh?

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originally posted: 06/28/08 06:09:48
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User Comments

7/31/19 Suzanne So thought-provoking and a sweet love story - cheers! 5 stars
3/14/16 Charles Tatum A dry stab at social commentary 3 stars
4/02/12 Rita P WALL-E...still the most charming leading man in the movies. 5 stars
11/24/11 Dr. Chan Not a compelling story at all. And its rhetoric is not my taste. 1 stars
10/19/11 Magic Not even a disappointing third act can offset the brilliant first two thirds of this movie. 5 stars
3/04/11 Mona W/his binocular eyes you can see the very moment Wall-e falls in love w/Eve. Pure Magic. 5 stars
2/26/11 Rita Absolutely mesmerized by Wall-e and Eve. A masterpiece. 5 stars
1/13/11 carol miles Sorry I didn't see this on the big screen - it's wonderful 5 stars
8/04/10 Lana Pixar proves herself again, showing how actions speak louder than words. ADORABLE 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name Quite possibly Pixar's best. 4 stars
1/17/10 TravisN Loved this movie. 5 stars
12/22/09 Dr.Lao A visually stunning and thought provoking movie, but the juvenile humor feels out of place 4 stars
12/13/09 Micah Definitely my favorite of 2008. 5 stars
11/26/09 gabriel An average movie hyped to infinity. Completely cliché. if I was 10 again I would love it. 3 stars
11/16/09 Reality Of Films The film was okay, but it was too serious, and boring in parts. I'd give the movie a C. 3 stars
10/22/09 MP Bartley Even by Pixar's high standards, this is truly, truly exceptional. 5 stars
6/19/09 Beefsolver There is no beef between Spirited Away fans and WALL*E fans. Never was. Beef solved. 5 stars
3/26/09 mr.mike It was good. 4 stars
3/05/09 Morgan You hated Spirited Away but WORSHIP WALL-E?!?!!!?? 1 stars
1/21/09 Croweater88 brianodorf, that the worst review i have ever seen you write. For shame. 5 stars
1/14/09 clatz Fantastic movie, very sweet and moving 5 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. one of the best animated films in a LONG time ;] 5 stars
11/28/08 Yvette It was great!! I recommend this for the whole family. 5 stars
11/26/08 Jonathan Pixar's like the '07 Patriots - they're chasing perfection. 5 stars
11/21/08 JD This film is the greatest animated film of the decade. 5 stars
11/21/08 KB5 Great message about the miracle of Life and it in all it's forms! 5 stars
11/17/08 Greets Another fine Pixar film that better than most live-action films this year 4 stars
9/30/08 Louise Clever and charming, with impressive animation 4 stars
9/17/08 Oiman Incredible, best movie ever 5 stars
9/12/08 Jon What can I say? This is another Pixar Classic. 5 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Wouldn't call this Pixar's best film ever - as some have - but it's definitely up there. 5 stars
8/28/08 Cathy It was okay, worth watching once - Some parts are good, but some parts are a little boring 3 stars
8/24/08 Samantha Pruitt i found it to be highly depressing, yet cute, hmmm, those chairs look awesome to have. 3 stars
8/13/08 Alice I dont understand the comments. Iam a huge disney fan but this sucked! Boring. 2 stars
8/06/08 E K Zimmerman Absolutely sublime - the best Pixar outing to date. 5 stars
7/31/08 ben dover 2 stars.brianorfdorf fuck you paki twat 5 stars
7/21/08 Moriazbane Perfection! Great love story. Adult entertainment, not for immature kids 5 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner My daughter loves this movie! 5 stars
7/16/08 athenais Great movie!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/16/08 David Just goes to show "G" films don't have to be poison for adults. 5 stars
7/14/08 Private Without a hint of exaggeration.. modern masterpiece. 5 stars
7/14/08 D Fantastic 5 stars
7/14/08 George Barksdale I loved it, a great family movie 5 stars
7/12/08 toni awesome!!!! 5 stars
7/12/08 Flounder The film moved me to the verge of tears, which is a rarity today. My highest recommendation 5 stars
7/10/08 L. Slusarczyk A fabulous movie thats worth the price of admission. 5 stars
7/09/08 Jack Quite simply one of the best movies ever made. And yes, I cried too... 5 stars
7/08/08 mary m My 5 yr old niece loved it and so did I. I'll admit I cried. 5 stars
7/07/08 Mr X The best Pixar movie yet! Brianorndorf is just being a hater. 5 stars
7/05/08 AnnieG A Pixar movie made for grown-ups that kids may enjoy also. 5 stars
7/05/08 Craig The best quirky-little-robots-in-love movie ever! 5 stars
7/04/08 Matt This movie was TERRIBLE and BORING!!!!!! 1 stars
7/03/08 Leo S Hmm.. Not seeing it. It was ok, but it got tedious pretty quick 3 stars
7/02/08 Flounder One of the most unique, incredible trips to the movies I have have ever experienced 5 stars
7/01/08 Aaron Brian the gags on you. Corporatism musn't always be negative. 4 stars
7/01/08 Anthony You leave the theatre appreciating everything around you. 4 stars
6/30/08 Roy Smith Pixar produces perfectionc again 5 stars
6/30/08 Wolfrider Totally worth it - will definitely be looking for this one on DVD 5 stars
6/30/08 tmcmistress brian, your review is 1% criticism and 99% projecting. 5 stars
6/30/08 Kye Mitchell Wonderful movie! 4 stars
6/30/08 dan halberg take a valium, brianordorf! 5 stars
6/30/08 Robert Auto's voice was Macintalk. Sigourney Weaver was the more normal female voice of the ship 5 stars
6/30/08 Quigley WALL-E deeply moved my heart. Could very well be one of the greatest films ever made. 5 stars
6/29/08 Christof M. Bradford My rating is actually 4.9 stars, because as good as it is, WALL*E is not quite perfection. 5 stars
6/28/08 Bob lovable movie 5 stars
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  27-Jun-2008 (G)
  DVD: 18-Nov-2008


  DVD: 18-Nov-2008

[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Andrew Stanton

Written by
  Andrew Stanton

  Fred Willard
  Jeff Garlin
  Ben Burtt

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