I am sorry to say 3 weeks ago I knew nothing of District 9, and to be honest I think that was a good thing because my expectation was kept at a minimum. When I first saw the trailer it tricked me, caught my attention and left me wanting more….
Having recently arrived back from the viewing I can safely say that District 9 is a very original, clever and captivating movie. The opening act is a well crafted documentary style narrative that sucks you into this potential situation, my one concern was not knowing when or if this style would give way to more coventional storytelling. The intermittent splashes of ‘regular’ movie scenes blend in so well that they are a relief from the swinging camera without being obvious.
The story follows a reluctant protagonist caught up by the big corporate machine that he works for, the growth and development of Wikus (played by Sharito Copley) are pivotal to the outcome of the movie. The real stars are the Aliens in the way they are portrayed and by the quality of the visual effects. This movie is gritty and gruesome in an understated way, it draws you in with such suspension of disbelief that you stop looking for the joins and begin to accept that they are as real as the Johannesburg slum they live in. The alternate reality that Blomkamp delivers in this movie feels so natural and real, it could really be happening out there. Especially given the setting in a contemporary South African slum town that develops beneath the dormant, hovering Alien Mothership. What’s more the film works so well because it is set far, far away from America, otherwise known as the ‘centre of the universe’.
The final third of the movie does not let up on the pressure, and makes for a satisfying , if explosive conclusion where Wikus finally makes a stand for what is right even at his own personal cost.
Blomkamp has delivered a rollercoaster ride that shows the Hollywood heavyweights how to make a quality and original movie, I didn’t really know what to expect and I enjoyed every minute. Whereas I still haven’t seen Transformers2 because I know exactly what to expect and know that I will come away feeling empty and unsatisfied.
If you value originality and expect to be entertained for your money, then I couldn’t rate District 9 high enough. Thumbs up from me. 😀
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast Includes: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope
Run time: 113 minutes
Rating: R16 – Contains violence and offensive language