“District 9” Movingly Thought Provoking

Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.
Release Date: August 14th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and pervasive language.
Distributors: TriStar Pictures

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

JJ Rating: A

Aliens had come to Earth and their ship breaks down. Who was left on the ship were just workers. They were taken and put up in what was suppose to be a residence for them but turns into a slum of sorts and they eventually become a problem to the surrounding humans and they want the aliens gone. MNU (Multi-National United) deal with the aliens and what to do with them. They decided to move them from their current location close to the city to a distant location away from the city. District 9.

It’s really difficult to discuss this film. It is one of those that the concept is a little more in depth than what the trailer shows. If I get into what it is that transpired it will ruin it and why it is so good.

The aliens click when they speak and I think it sounds freakin’ cool. I also think that the aliens look like a combination of grasshopper and cockroach, but that is just my visual opinion. I’m sure someone who deals with bugs and insects would totally disagree. It’s really weird because for some reason I was really into the clicking way they communicated. It was neat and not at all obnoxious or intrusive on my concentration of what was going on.

Sharlto Copley plays Wikus the constant character on the film that is human. Normally Mr. Copley is behind the camera. He has directed, produced and wrote for a film or two. This would be the first time he has acted in front of the screen. I do have to say he puts on a performance that fits the documentary style of the film. He had the awkwardness of a weird, fidgety individual who was not camera ready let alone leader ready. But the point of many characters in stories is that they start off one way and end up being more by the end. Wikus is one of those characters and he changes far more than most. Copley just makes that role his role. He was very, very good and very, very believable.

The story is so enjoyable and thought provoking in how it is told. I’ve seen stories on Africa and movies that have been based on events in African countries and I have to say that was well incorporated into District 9. I loved that it was not a big well known city that was used for the alien destination for a breakdown (like, as the movie pointed out, New York or LA). These citizens, who are probably looked down by other countries and cities, decided to look down on these aliens because they were not human. They held the aliens in contempt because of the way they looked not necessarily how they acted.

There is an interesting concept with this. It probably could take on several different perspectives that tie-in with our reality, but the one I’m thinking of is illegal aliens and that debate. The comments that were made sounded familiar in that regard. I really like when a science fiction TV show or movie touch upon social concepts or political problems that reign in the real world or attempt to predict such reactions for events that have yet to come. It’s interesting to me.

Even though the aliens look insectish they were so well crafted that they could show emotion in their eyes as well as their movements. There will be several scenes were one will feel, as I did, anger because of how they are treated. It’s baffling that people would repeat history in such a manner. It is also powerful when it is minorities that are also inflicting these prejudicial actions on, essentially, another minority.

There are different things that happen in the story that come full circle in the end and I like how a story makes use of information like puzzle pieces. Leading people by giving them a little information here and there and by the time the end comes they have accumulated all of the pieces. It makes for a better picture and makes for a better use of time and great use of the mind. District 9 could be used in classes for discussion of how different groups of people were treated at different times in history.

District 9 is a different kind of movie than most are used to. It is another Sci-Fi film (Star Trek being the other) that not just fans of the genre will enjoy. It speaks in a language that many can understand and conveys a message that all should not only get, but remember.

WARNING: Do not sit close to the screen if you suffer from motion sickness. The documentary style is not just to sound cool when stated. It’s to state that the camera is not stationary and does bounce about. Becoming sick is a possibility and that just might ruin your movie viewing experience.

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