Review of 'District 9'

district_9.jpg This is an alternative reality with 20 years previous aliens make contact with earth leaving a spaceship hanging in mid-air and landing a number of aliens in South Africa. Known as “prawns” the aliens cause problems with humans so are interred into a camp, “District 9” where they can be easily controlled. Multi-National United (MNU) is contracted to forcibly evict the aliens to move them to a “new” camp located further away from Johannesburg. MNU operative Wikus van der Merwe is assigned to lead the operation, despite being woefully inexperienced (but related by marriage to those in charge…), where he is exposed to some of the alien organic technology and begins to change…Pretty soon he is caught in the middle of running from the humans and trying to convince the prawns that he is not their enemy…

An obvious commentary on prejudice particularly with it's being sited in South Africa (initially when Apartheid was still in place) this is still a very interesting and engrossing movie. The effects are absolutely unbelievable and truly bring the situation alive.

Aside: Why is it that everyone seems to think that a wonky camera on the back of a cameraman running around brings a sense of verite to the movie…? Well, ok, so maybe it does but my head seems to hurt more and more often when going to films…I guess I will have to get use to taking headache pills…(sigh) Never mind, just grumbling…

At some times the film does seem a bit contrived (go figure) but generally a lot of fun. Hope to see more from this (mainstream) directorial debut of Blomkamp.

Aside (again): I did find it interesting to see that with the introduction of the aliens Apartheid seems to disappear with both black and white united in their hostility to their uninvited guests. Whether this was intentional or not, I think, perhaps, this serves to put the prejudice to the aliens into sharp focus…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2009-09-26

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

Studio: Key Creatives

Year: 2009

Length: 112 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Neill Blomkamp: