Sunday, August 16, 2009
Movie Reviews: DISTRICT 9
Aliens become refugees in ....South Africa.... where they are kept isolated from any human contact. While being contained in the refuge being ignored of their welfare, their weapons become the sole interest of Multi-National United (MNU). But only one man , Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), can activate these weapons. He becomes hunted for and only one place can give him refuge, District 9.
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Vanessa Haywood, Mandla Gaduka
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Opened ..August 14, 2009..
Runtime: 1 hr. 53 min.
Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language
Genres: Psychological Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Adventure, Science Fiction
District 9 is an intriguing and totally engrossing sci-fi romp that, like the best of genre, has so much more simmering under its façade. Rookie director Neill Blomkamp makes an incredibly impressive debut here especially considering the paltry, by ..Hollywood.. standards, 30 million budget. Blomkamp delivers a massively entertaining and visually impressive film that can challenge any big budget summer blockbuster. Blomkamp uses a faux documentary style for the better part of the film making the film seem as if it were cut together from various interviews and live news feeds. It works in creating a sense of reality that’s lacking from a lot of science fiction films. As mentioned this is a message movie but it doesn’t jam it down your throat and can be enjoyed on multiple levels. On the acting front feature newbie Sharlto Copley is pretty much front and center and he does an impressive job throughout. Copley’s character traverses a multitude of emotional states that vary from impish office drone to determined hero. The rest of the human characters are pretty much types and never particularly fleshed out but they serve their purpose so it’s hardly a stain on the film. The effects are pretty much the costars here and they don’t disappoint. The “prawns” are fully realized creations that are mostly believable with only occasional hiccups. Still they are so effective that by the end of the film you can’t help but connect with “Christopher Johnson” and his son’s plight. The final battle is beautifully staged and feels like a fantastic mash up of Black Hawk Down and Transformers that feels fresh and original. Fresh and original a great way to describe this film overall and while some of the conceits will feel familiar to experienced genre fans but Blomkamp melds them so effortlessly and impressively you’d be hard pressed not to enjoy the accomplishment.