Viewed – 27 July 2010 Blu-ray
I had heard some good things about this, but had taken a while to get around to seeing it. Telling the story of a race of aliens, derogatorily referred to as the prawns, who’s mothership one day appears hovering over Johannesburg – naturally curious, mankind investigate and discover a wealth of aliens onboard. Soon they settle into makeshift shacks, cut off from the rest of the country. They label this, crime-infested area District 9. Yet some of the locales are still not happy, and with the threat of violence and rioting the government choose to relocate the aliens – and that’s where our intrepid reporter / agent Wickus (Sharlto Copley) comes in, all good intentions and thirsty for his moment in the spotlight and whatever promotion that may bring – but relocating the aliens brings its own dangers, when Wickus becomes infected from an experimental fluid the aliens have been secretly working on.
This striking movie, shot in a documentary, news-reel fashion complete with eye-witness interviews and shaky camera work offers a believable take on what might happen if aliens did find themselves stranded on our planet, and with the urban slums of Johannesburg instead of say, New York or Washington, this felt much more real than pretty much any other sci-fi movie I had seen (with the possible exception of Cloverfield). Now granted the story does get a bit silly, and the main character boarders on annoying, but as events unfold I found myself really caring not just for the agent / reporter but also for the aliens, with the discrimination against them obviously a nod to our own treatment of asylum seekers.
With some startling effects work (thanks to producer Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital) and genuinely thrilling moments (with the raid on the government building a highlight) this one entertained me no end, and made me thirsty for a sequel.
Verdict: 4 /5
- Neill Blomkamp And Sharlto Copley Planning Their Next Project Together (cinemablend.com)
- Matt Damon: ‘Elysium’ with Sharlto Copley? (justjared.buzznet.com)