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District 9

District 9

Wow. I went into this moving thinking it would be pretty good, but I walked out thinking it was simply amazing.

For those that somehow don’t know anything about this movie, it is produced by Peter Jackson and could be well on its way to being one of the best Sci-Fi movies.  I pulled the following synopsis from Imdb:

Thirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them. Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare – they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA. The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

For a relatively newcomer in terms of directing, Neill Blomkamp delivers a great movie that mixes action, comedy, and drama.  With a documentary style (interviews, non-steadycam), Neill makes the audience feel as if the events are unfolding before them or have already happened in the current world.  Along with newbie Blomkamp, we are also introduced to another somewhat first timer in our “hero” Sharlto Copley who plays Wikus Van De Merwe.  Copley’s character easily morphs from the laughable failure to the man fighting to do the right thing.  Apparently Copley had no previous acting experience and was only given the role after Blomkamp tossed him into the mix while filming Alive in Joburg, which is the short film that inspired District 9.

Just as a warning to those who are squeamish, this movie is filled with gore.  I don’t believe it is gore for the sake of gore (i.e. what you mind find in most modern horror movies).  It’s more of a gore that you might see if you combined Saving Private Ryan’s opening season, Aliens, and some really cool futuristic weapons.  It is interesting to see an audience flinch when a man pulls his fingernails off but a soldier’s body exploding is normal.

With the great detail Blomkamp offered in terms of action and technology, I say give the man Halo.  Give him Iron Man.  Give him anything he wants.  With Halo he could actually end the curse of bad movies based on video games.  Those weapons.  That mech warrior.  The aliens.  All of it looked amazing.

Most of you know how I hate to over hype a movie, but this is probably the best movie I have seen since The Dark Knight.

[Rating: 5/5]

Posted under Movies


Brian Says:
August 16th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I am picturing it correctly, I would love to see this director do the movie adaptation of World War Z in a similar fashion. I think someone else is already working on it, though…

Also, I thought I read that some of the assets for this movie came from the ashes of the first failed Halo movie.

The Amateur Critics Guild Says:
March 5th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

[…] 9 was not part of the marathon but I have seen it previously and I just bought it based on IGN’s Blu-ray recommendations.This movie had it all for me: […]

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