The newest offering by Disney and Pixar should have been a slam-dunk for entertainment, but at 1 hour and 37 minutes WALL-E crashes and burns like the Hindenburg. The best parts of the movie are played for anyone who wants to see them. Just go to Yahoo! Movies and you can watch all of the trailers there for free and save your money. It’s not even worth waiting for the DVD.
I was very disappointed. I had high expectations for a movie that would keep me entertained much like the old Herbie movies. My expectations were obviously too high. Pixar failed to deliver on the promises made by the previews. The so-called professional critics and I have never agreed on anything and WALL-E is no exception. They lavished the movie with high praise and accolades a film maker can only hope for. I should have known when critics give a movie good ratings, I'll hate it. The only reason I didn't get up and walk out of this movie was because my eight year old daughter was watching it with me and she liked it. She also liked -- and understood a lot of -- Get Smart.
The plot of the movie, you can probably guess, is that man has so completely ruined the Earth, that we must all leave or be poisoned to death by the junk we left lying around. Scenes of mounds of compacted garbage are seen all over the fictional city. Most of these mounds of garbage dwarf the skyscrapers themselves. The hero, WALL-E is a robot whose directive is to gather up all of the remaining garbage and compact it into nice, neat little bales which are then stacked one on top of the other in modern day pyramids. One day a probe vessel arrives on earth with a robot whose directive is to locate evidence of sustained life on earth. The “love story” is hardly romantic – the search probe finds its objective within hours of being deployed and goes into hibernation mode awaiting retrieval and leaving WALL-E as a hopeless romantic caring for its companion as if it were someone caring for a loved one in the hospital.
The probe is retrieved and WALL-E hitches a ride back to the mothership where the probe’s cargo – a lone plant growing in a boot – is hijacked and allegedly destroyed in keeping with the prime directive of the mother ship auto-pilot (WARNING: PLOT SPOILER ALERT). The auto pilot robot has taken over the ship and left the captain as a figurehead only. We soon learn that the auto pilot was directed to refuse to return to earth and to that end any evidence of life on the planet was to be discarded and destroyed without prejudice. The captain grows cajones and finds a way to override the auto pilot and return to earth. In the process, WALL-E is damaged and its companion returns to earth to rebuilt WALL-E. And they all “live” happily ever after. Yeah, right.
The most disappointing aspect of this movie wasn’t that there was very limited dialogue. That was actually nice. What ruined the movie for me was the thinly veiled “Save the Planet” theme. Look Hollywood, I go to movies to be entertained not have your thumb-sucking, bong-smoking, Birkenstock-wearing , America-hating, chicken little the sky is falling, liberal agenda rammed down my throat. I almost felt like I was watching An Inconvenient Truth II: The Aftermath.
If you haven’t yet wasted your money on this piece of celluloid, consider yourself lucky and consider going to see Get Smart. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give WALL-E a 1.5. The concept was cute and WALL-E has the potential to be loveable, but when the best parts of the movie end up as the trailers and the storyline begins shoving the liberal agenda down the audience’s throat, it’s time to turn around and not walk, but run away. I know Pixar has the potential to do better and this isn’t the first time that Pixar has presented a waste of time move (can you say The Incredibles?). But this movie had so much more potential and no one even scratched the scratch on the scratch on the scratch on the surface. They would have been better off making Toy Story 3: Revenge of the Yo-Yo’s.