Saturday, August 15, 2009

Review: District 9

Grade: A+

District 9 is a movie about an alien race that came to Earth over twenty years ago and stopped their ship over Johannesburg, South Africa. Three months after they arrived there was no sign of them as they never emerged from their ship so some military groups went up to the ship and forced their way in. They discovered over a million alien creatures and took them down from the ship and put them in what turned into a slum called District 9. A corporation calling themselves Multi-National United, or MNU, was formed to watch over District 9 and it's inhabitants. It's now been 28 years ago and the slum has become too small to hold all of the "prawns" (a slur that humans call the aliens because they tend to look and act like bottom feeders) so they have built a new district well outside Johannesburg city limits to move them all to. The movie centers around a man, Wikus Van De Mewre, who is picked to lead the operation of evicting and relocating all the aliens. In doing so at one shed Wikus discovers a silver tube filled with a mysterious fluid that he ends up accidentally spraying himself with. He finds out that this liquid is fusing his DNA with alien DNA and he is slowing turning into a "prawn". MNU is searching for Wikus so they can try to duplicate this result so they can use the alien technology that only responds to alien contact. Wikus then decides to help one of the aliens help save his species by returning home after discovering the alien has a way to reverse the effect and return him to normal.

This movie was simply amazing. The story is fantastic in every way. The way the movie is shot was fascinating as well. It starts out like a documentary showing the alien ship showing up and giving background to the story and showing how the humans have treated the aliens, then it goes into a more natural movie style for the rest of the movie. The whole movie was shot beautifully and looked truly amazing, especially considering every alien "prawn" in the movie is CG.

The story is actually quite amazing and touching at times. The movie, in a very interesting way using the aliens, discusses racism and human rights. The aliens are basically dragged from their ship and thrown into slums where they have virtually no rights. Everybody constantly uses the slur "prawn" when talking about the alien race. It is shown that there is little respect for the lives of the aliens when they are evicting them and shooting many of them for simply getting too close, also there is a scene where they discover alien sacks containing alien new borns in one of the shacks, they "take care of it" by setting the place on fire and the humans show an imense amount of joy almost while hearing the younglings burn and pop. This story and the whole movie is again, simply amazing.

Sharlto Copley plays the main character Wikus Van De Mewre who is also the main focus of the movie. Copley has never acted before but did a truly amazing job. I feel that his lack of acting experience actually helped him in this role. The character is very naive at times and seems to have a certain amount of innocence during the first half of the move. Peter Jackson made a great decision by funding this movie. The movie was written and directed by Neil Blomkamp and is based on his own experience growing up in South Africa during apartheid

I truly have to recommend that everybody go out to see this movie. It is one of the best movies of 2009 so far. I must warn you though, do not take your kids to see it as it is rated R for a reason. It is very violent and disturbing at times, I lost count of how many people and aliens I saw get, literally, blown up. I understand that this movie is a little on the weird side but it is ever so worth seeing.


  1. i have to give you a 10/10 on your review that was simply a damn good job on the review you got straight to the point you told us how you saw the movie in several different ways and how it focused on things such as racism, you gave this movie hope for me to watch, So i'm going to have to say I'm going to watch this movie based on your review alone. thanks mike keep up the great work and write more reviews I look fwd to reading them.


    Joshua Phipps

  2. I just came from the movie, and I agree totally with your assessment. When you consider that District 9 is essentially based on true, current events (racial tension, living conditions of refugees, horrific police brutality), you find yourself wondering how you could possibly be entertained by a movie like this. This is one of the best sci-fi movies I've ever seen, and it gets under your skin because it's only partly fiction. It ain't your daddy's E.T.