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"The Lord of the 9"

From Emily Isaacs, Rock Hill, IL:

Now, I'll admit that it's been a long time since I last saw or read "The Lord of the Rings" stories, so perhaps my comparison here is slightly off, but upon viewing the latest Tim Burton film "9," I couldn't help but notice a lots of similarities. The nine creations of the Scientist have to go on an epic journey to save the world. In "The Lord of the Rings" there are nine members to the Fellowship of the Ring and they go on an epic journey to save the world. Nine (the character) bears a strong resemblance to Frodo Baggins and is voiced by Elijah Wood, who also played Frodo in the Jackson version of the Lord of the Rings films. This seems just a little bit too convenient. Nine wakes up and finds himself bestowed with an object that he discovers has the power to bring to life an evil referred to as “the Brain.” In the Lord of the Rings, the mere existence of the Ring allows Sauron to waken, and in "9," Nine awakens the evil by placing the talisman in it. Also interesting to note about the Brain is that its signature feature seems to be its glowing red eye, which was also the signature feature of Sauron in the Lord of the Rings.

Towards the beginning of "9," the antagonist appears to be something referred to as “the Beast.” The Beast discovers the talisman and takes it back to its lair where it is preparing to place it in the Brain. If it succeeded in placing the talisman in the Brain, it would awaken the Brain, and in Lord of the Rings Sarumon's main goal is to get the ring returned so Sauron so he can awaken. When the Beast takes the talisman it also takes one of the nine creatures, whose friends go and try to retrieve him. When they get there they kill the beast and while the group celebrates, Nine places the talisman in the Brain and awakens it. In the Lord of the Rings this could be likened to when Frodo puts on the Ring and makes Sauron of his presence, awakening him. Next the entire group retreats. Here, One tells them how foolish they were and that now they would have to hide. Here he demonstrates one of the characteristics of Theoden, who wanted to retreat to Helms Deep and hide in the mountain fortress there. This quickly proves impossible as one of the Brain's lackeys discovers their hideout and forces them all into action. This could be likened to when Frodo is forced to leave Middle Earth because the Nazgúl realize the Ring is hidden there.

Some plot happens, and the group heads to the Brain's lair to destroy it. This scene here to me was highly reminiscent of the end of the Lord of the Rings when the Eye is destroyed and its tower collapses into the burning remains of Mordor. More plot happens, and it turns out the grand plan to destroy the Brain didn't work. So Nine decides to go back to where he was created and search for clues about the creature. Here he discovers a recording the Scientist left for him which details the talismans use and how evil the Brain is. The Scientist bears a strong resemblance to Gandalf as he is the wise elder who guides the group on their journey and tells them that it is their job to save the world. He also alludes to the fact that the group can use the talisman against the Brain. This is like how Gandalf tells the Fellowship that they can use the Ring to destroy Sauron. So, Nine returns and together he and the remaining creations use the talisman to destroy the Brain. In the process, One, the early leader who bore a strong resemblance to Theoden, sacrifices himself for Nine. This reminded me of when Boromir sacrifices himself to save the hobbits. It seems that he is a mixture of the two characters Theoden and Boromir as he exemplifies Theoden's original cowardice and Boromir's sacrifice. At the end of the film they destroy the talisman by using it to bring life back to their world, thus saving the world. And, in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," destroys the Ring of Power and saves the world. Please say it's not just me being crazy and looking for things where they don't exist!

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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