What I love about Science Fiction is that it is one of those genres that is more creative than others as it’s not based on anything in our present or past time. It feeds off imagination to create a world we have never seen before and yet at times it can also drive home real issues related to our world. District 9 is one of those films that does that. Not seamlessly or altogether thought provoking, but it is one hell of an entertaining movie.
If I were to divide the film up, it is first a Documentary or as some call Mockumentry. After the introduction of the characters and setting it adds the macguffin that changes it into a Horror film about the transformation of man into something less Human. The final third of the movie is a roller coaster of sci-fi action. It’s been a long while since I had this much fun watching a movie in the theatre. For me that happens when Wikus is captured by people at the district nine camp, they are planning to cut off his arm until he is able to grab one of the alien weapons. From this point on I was giggling, then as he and Chris storm the MNU facility I was laughing, not because it’s funny but because it was just so damn enjoyable and fun to watch.
The effects in this look spectacular for a budget of $30 million and they look far more realistic too compared to the over stylised “clean” CGI of Cameron’s Avatar which almost put me to sleep, it also makes the action far more brutal and fun then the latter. Remember when Cameron made good fun action movies like Terminator 2? Remember in T2 when the T-1000 drove his truck off a bridge and into the embankment while chasing John Connor on his motorbike? Great action but also fun. That was a film that inspired the Directer Neill Blomkamp while making District 9. Compare the two mecha scenes between Avatar and District 9. Which one holds your excitement more? Without doubt it was District 9 for me. Also dealing with the films topic it is an analogy of apartheid and clearly depicts how we might might treat aliens that come to this world. Wikus is one really unlucky guy but perfectly shows how niceness and bigotry go hand in hand sometimes. It’s a sharp social commentary on our own History.
It is interesting to note of late as I write this that Professor Stephen Hawking has said in a documentary, ‘Into the Universe’ he made with the Discovery Channel that we should avoid alien contact for any advanced aliens might be that type “to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach”. This of course says more about Humanity as it’s a reflection of how we have treated our own civilisation thus far, intelligent life in the universe is measured against our own.
If you watch this movie for the first time watch it without knowing or seeing anything else about it. That’s the way it was for me, I heard of the hype, didn’t seen any trailers, didn’t even know what the aliens looked like until I watched the film at the theatre or that it was going to be a documentary style movie in some parts. Or that the F word would be used 137 times throughout the movie.
Favorite Quote: “This whole’s thing’s under your shack? For 20 years, you’ve had this fookin’ thing hidden out here? This is, this is very illegal, I mean, this is… this is a find.” – Wikus