District 9: No Humans Allowed!

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district9poster

I just got back from seeing District 9. Go see it. I know I kind of ruined my review before the jump. Stop reading now and go see it. You should have seen it Friday or at the midnight Thursday show. If you still want to read what I have to say hit the jump. There may be spoilers ahead.

Neill Blomkamp has made probably the best sci-fi action drama this year. This movie is amazing. The style of the movie starts out as a sort of documentary about the creatures and what has happened since they arrived. Then as the story develops changes into half documentary and half action film.

When I saw the first heard about this movie I saw a trailer that made this movie look like it was going to be a serious documentary about how the aliens lived and how the humans were dealing with them. While District 9 was that, we got more action out of it. The serious tone for the movie is set in the beginning, showing us the arrival of the aliens and how the people of Johannesburg reacted to it.

The creatures are basically treated like homeless immigrants. You see how they are integrated into the society of humans and then thrown into the slums and left there. Then the government comes in and sections them off from the general population. Making it seem like it was for their protection, when really it was just to keep them away from the people.

Soon we see that the MNU, Multi-National Union, has taken over the situation with the aliens. They make it seem like they are really caring for the creatures, but they just want the weapon technology the aliens posses. It really sets a tone for the movie. The aliens are basically kept there on the planet and not allowed to leave because the MNU wants weapons. Over the course of the movie we see that the organizations running the show just want the tech, and don’t care about the aliens.

The action movie aspects come in once the main character, Wikus van der Merwe, an MNU official overseeing the eviction of the aliens from their current homes, contracts a strange virus. His organization finds that the virus has changed him and wants to use him for their own gain.

Wikus van der Merwe is played by Sharlto Copley. An unknown actor, only staring in this movie because he was a friend of Blomkamp and was in the short film Alive in Joburg which D9 is based off. He plays the role of a self interested bureaucrat that follows his orders to the letter, until the crap hits the fan. Even after his incident, he is still only interested in himself. Helping one of the aliens attempt to get back to their hovering mothership, just so he can be rid of the virus.

The budget of this movie was $30 million. It sounds like a lot, but for a large scale action movie this is nothing. Blomkamp managed to make a great movie on this amount, with the aid of Pete Jackson and WETA. WETA is the special effects company that Jackson uses in just about everything. It is also the company Jackson was going to use to make the HALO movie, before that was all taken away and given to Spielberg. Bet Microsoft is kicking themselves for that one. Jackson was going to give Blomkamp the director’s chair for HALO, but instead gave him 30 million to make whatever he wanted. District 9 is what we got.

The action scenes for this are incredible. I could watch some of the alien weapons kill stuff and blow stuff up for 2 hours alone. One weapon just makes people pop. That’s it! They get hit with it and they explode like a balloon filled with meat. Then the giant mech armor that the aliens have comes in with machine guns and missiles and the usual alien weaponry. The most amusing death caused by the Mobile Suit, is when a live pick is picked up by the robot and launched at a group of people, throwing them through shacks. It was ridiculous.

I highly recommend this movie. Go see it. NOW! They saved the best of the summer sci-fi movies for last; it is well deserved of a watch.

Alien in District 9

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3 Responses to “District 9: No Humans Allowed!”

  1. Gee ex three vee eye Says:

    ^^agreed. excellent movie, didn’t know they did it for so cheap, even more impressive. after seeing this, I’m somewhat glad we didn’t get halo from Blomkamp. it might have been good, but maybe we don’t ever see this film? that would have been a waste. also, and maybe this is just me projecting things onto this film, but it felt a bit subversive, you’re never told which side to root for, MNU, aliens, the nigerians or anyone, because no one group seems to be up to any good, it’s all about weapons or catfood, always. is there a good guy in this movie? not really. but towards the end i was pulling for wikus and the alien.

    • Nick Towers Says:

      I felt the same way, but at the same time I was mostly pulling for the Aliens getting off Earth. I felt that Wikus was only out for himself. The only reason he did the things he did was out of self interest, it seemed like if there wasn’t a reward for him he wouldn’t do the things he did.

      Later on it looks like he has a change of heart but it isn’t shown in some obvious turning point. There is nothing to actually show that he is a changed man, he just goes back to help.

      I don’t know how anyone could pull for the Nigerians. Seems like they have a lot of princes and rich people that I’m related to, but they never pay up…

  2. gee ex three vee eye Says:

    well I wasn’t pulling for Wikus because he was a good guy or anything. Just pulling for him cause he got in that sweet mech and wanted to see him wreck shit. I wonder what the aliens leaving earth would mean if there is a sequel to this. Do they come back and retaliate for being treated so poorly? if so I’m no longer rooting for the alien to get back on that ship. Maybe one can’t actively root for the nigerians, but they were presented in a way that it’s not that hard to sympathise with their situation. If I lived in that sort of squalor and hopelessness, I’d be all about some crazy alien weapons too.

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