by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
I wasn’t expecting much when I watched District 9. From the previews (which I didn’t pay much attention to in the first place) I got the impression of an alien slum on Earth and their rebellion. That’s about all. By the way here comes some spoilers so don’t ruin it for yourself if you haven’t seen it.
The movie started out that way. We are introduced to a somewhat bumbling main character in Sharlto Copley (who went on to play Murdock in the A-Team movie). It is basically played out that this guy is the dupe for a very possibly unpopular alien relocation plan. During this hectic eviction process Wikus (yeah, that’s his name) is exposed to alien fuel and starts slowly transforming into an alien himself. The government entity overseeing the aliens capture him and try to do experiments on him. At the same time the superstitious Johannesburg gangs want him for voodoo type rituals thinking they can obtain the power of the aliens by eating his alien parts.
Wikus makes a deal with one of the aliens (called prawns cause they look like shrimp) to help him get the rare alien fuel so the alien can go back home in their derelict shop and cure him.
Battles ensue and action abounds. The somewhat selfish Wikus makes an ultimate sacrifice and sees the alien safely off while holding off the ‘bad guys’. The alien leaves (promising to be back for him in 3 years) and Wikus eventually transforms into an alien.
Ok, at first I was not too into the movie. The moment Wikus was sprayed with the alien fuel the move grabbed my attention. Some rather hideous transformations take place and the whole (assumed by me) plot changed completely. I really got into this movie at that point and enjoyed it to the end. I was a little disappointed by the open ending but what do you expect nowadays?
D9 was made by Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson produced. Neil was planning a Halo movie and it fell through so Jackson gave him 30 million to make what he wanted. The effects are some of the best that I have seen a while. Very photo realistic, very convincing.
Before I finish I must have some fun with my nitpicking…
- The robot suit ‘sucks’ all the gang bullets as they are shot at it. Why didn’t the dude do that while he was in the suit. He seemed to learn all the other tricks of the suit.
- Why did Wikus keep his cell phone? They could track him with it… anyone knows that.
- If Christopher was so smart and all why did he get stuck on Earth in the first place? They never explained that.
The (New Zealand/Nigerian) accents are hard to understand at times but the themes come right though. A bit ‘The Fly’, and a bit ‘ET’ this movie hits all the right notes. I was really taken by surprise.
The real trick will be making a sequel that doesn’t suck like so many nowadays.