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District 9

Movie District 9
Director Neill Blomkamp
Starring

Sharlto Copley, Nathalie Boltt

As a sci-fi boy who just never grew up I was so excited about seeing District 9. The story is so interesting and even at the finish yet unexplained. Mostly because of the question: "Why are they here at all"? The story switches between documentary mode and action movie. The documentary mode isn't as annoying as Cloverfield with its amateur camera style, but you could see that the scenes taken could actually be from actual documentaries and interview/news excerpts. The action sequences and story progression through traditional story telling is superb and are the movies best attributes, although these are slow to emerge. The film starts slowly establishing how the protagonists are just ordinary people set in an extraordinary circumstance, which they adapt to in a very basic way such as ordinary people would. They retain their flaws and strengths but are just as frightened and then as arrogant as anyone in their situation would be. The blatant use of racism against the aliens helps the story progress more naturally, and although you can see how you would easily hate the "Prawns" if they landed here, with their attitude, violence, their hygiene and their frightening power, you can also see how they feel as a result of the abuses heaped against them by the MNU and indeed the world, demonstrated most vehemently by the locals rioting and their captivity in their slums and the rehousing scheme to move them further from humanity.

Sharlto Copley is excellent as Wikus Van Der Merwe, he starts out as a particularly annoying and nasty racist, although loving husband, who's rank in the MNU is raised significantly faster than it should be by virtue of his marriage to the head of the MNU's daughter. He is ordered as his first assignment in charge of District 9 to go in and inform the Prawns they are being evicted and moved further outside Johannesburg. He has little control over the military though and his weakness as a leader is present throughout his organisation of this move. On his travels through district 9 he encounters a shack he believes is housing illegal weaponry, and is exposed to a vile of liquid a particularly intelligent Prawn spend 20 years compiling which he believes can get him home somehow, the liquid makes Wikus start to change horrifyingly but all the MNU want to do is force him to use their weapons and dissect him so they can use his DNA so they can fire the alien weaponry. Driven by this, and his own terror he goes into hiding in district 9 where he encounters the intelligent Prawn who tells him, he can change him back, at a price.

The action sequences put me in mind of the Transformer movies, in a good way. Lots of intelligent combat mixed with desperation and drive that you can really relate to. How many directors or writers have ever actually achieved legitimate empathy for aliens while the aliens are ripping off human arms and multiplying on our home soil? How many movies have you seen where humans fight aliens and you find yourself at times rooting for the aliens? What happens when we are no longer the most dangerous or intelligent predators on the planet anymore but there is another civilisation who is desperate just to live? All new question and concepts thrown at you by district 9. The special effects are fantastic, a seamless mix of CGI and set design. Go see this to be entertained and surprised. Enjoy!

Score
This movie scores 8.4/10