Directed by Neill Blomkamp, District 9 is a fresh and surprising, sci-fi thriller.
Starting off as a mockumentary in order to expose the gist of the story, but gradually crossing over to being more of a conventional film with occasional news footage or interviews, District 9 takes an original, ingenious approach to alien-human relations.
Over 20 years ago, a broken down alien spaceship parked itself over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. Breaking into the lifeless craft, humans discovered hundreds of insect-like aliens, starving to death and seemingly of no immediate threat. Unable to operate the ship anymore, the aliens end up being segregated to their own slum within the city below. These “prawns” as the aliens are nicknamed due to their appearance, increase in numbers as the years go by, and rather than dominating their new environment, they are instead imprisoned by the humans, in which relations aren’t good.
Reduced to scavengers, the aliens are forced to accept any food that they find. Cat food becomes a desired commodity as a large group of Nigerians move into District 9 to sell the kitty treat at extortionate prices, and to succeed as kings of the underworld.
The munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with pencil pusher Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) in charge. Eagerly undertaking the job, but accidentally spraying himself in the face with an alien device, Wikus soon finds himself undergoing some rather dramatic changes and thrust into the middle of something far too big for him. He holds the key for how humans can operate alien weapons, a technological advance which is worth millions to MNU and his life as he knows it is changed forever.
I was surprised to learn that is was leading man Sharlto Copley’s first feature film as he does a positively amazing job at portraying this twitchy, mainly unlikable, mid-level jerk manager type. Wikus never once wavers from making District 9 feel real as he goes through an emotional and physical transformation that he conveys convincingly, and the creature effects are so realistic that I never doubted them for a second.
District 9 doesn’t skimp on the action, or sacrifice character development. Awesomely done and totally engaging, District 9 is a great sci-fi action thriller that many can enjoy and one movie that I highly recommend.
WICKED RATING: 8/10 [usr 8]
Title: District 9
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer(s): Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope
Studio/ Production Co: TriStar Pictures, Block / Hanson, WingNut Films
Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)
Sub-Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Thriller