August 14, 2009

District 9: A Review

I don't often review movies for whatever reason, but this one is just so unique it actually warrants one. I want to get the word out to as many people as possible to go see this movie. There are not enough unique movies coming out of Hollywood these days and this one needs your support!

Do you get the idea I liked it?

District 9 is a brilliantly done original science fiction tale in which aliens come to Earth in peace and Humans won't let them leave. That's the basic premise. Of course, it's a lot more complex. The mothership stalls over Johannesburg in Africa and when no contact from the aliens comes, we force our way in. What is found inside isn't hostile but it isn't exactly sunshine and rainbows either. The aliens are sick and so we naturally "help" them by moving them into slums and basically quarantining those slums. But after we "help" them, us humans won't let them leave. Why? We want their weapons of course! Unfortunately for us, those weapons only work with alien DNA meaning that if it senses you're not an alien, it won't work. Enter Wikus twenty years later. People are complaining about the aliens more than ever so MNU (Multinational United- the human/alien "peacekeeping" force) decides to illegally move them to another location under the supervision of Wikus. An unfortunate incident takes place when Wikus is trying to confiscate illegal alien weapons and, well, you'll have to watch to find out. It's kind of predictable, but that's about all that is.

What really makes the movie fantastic besides the highly original concept is the way in which it is told. It's total immersion. The entire movie seems completely believable thanks in part to the filming style and in part to the fantastic CGI effects that are, quite literally, some of the best ever produced.

The movie begins and ends in the style of a documentary that, you realize by the movie's close, takes place at the current time as if they created an account of what had happened in the middle of the film. The middle basically switches to style of your typical action blockbuster, albeit while keeping that realistic feel. The best way to explain it without giving it away is this: in the beginning you're presented with this documentary that explains the situation and that something has happened, while the middle is basically a flashback from the perspective of Wikus explaining exactly what happened. The movie ends as it starts. It's a pretty cool, but I feel that if Blomkamp keeps it up for too long people will get bored of it fast.

Finally, I did a little research that made the movie even more impressive for me. Sharito Copley, who plays Wikus, is a good friend of Blomkamp's and his only prior acting experience was in Blomkamp's short Alive in Joburg. Why, then, was he chosen for the roll? Because he is an excellent improviser. Every one of his lines in the film was improvised. Wow. I thought it was an impressive performance before but now it is ten times more so. In fact, everyone's acting in the film is fantastic. It just further adds to the movie's believability. The cherry on top are the special effects that, due in part to the filming style, look unusually more realistic than usual. They blend seamlessly into the world in an amazing way.

At the end of the day, you get a fantastic movie that's completely original and completely awesome. Go see it. Hell, go see it twice. Just go see it! Needless to say, I am looking forward to District 10. Sure the Halo movie may never happen, but we got this instead and it's even better.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say that having spent two weeks in england, scotland and Ireland, this movie is far underadvertised. However, they do seem to enjoy advertising lesser films, such as g-force and GI joe, the later of witch looks good. any way thats my comment.