Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt
Synopsis: An alien mothership has arrived on Earth, not at Manhattan, Washington or London, but at Johannesburg. unable to leave the aliens settle in the city, but prove unable to co-exist with humans, leading to segregation in “District 9″. This is not enough for the citizens of the city though, leasing to an initiative to evict the aliens into a community 200km distant from the city.
A review by Film Nerd
Okay, yes I admit it. I only just got around to seeing this film despite it being a stand out piece of science fiction. In my defence, I was a bit busy when it came out. Having seen it now though I realise I only robbed myself. This is a film that uses sci fi exactly how the original authors of the genre used the art. As a form of social commentary on more contemporary events. And still it gives you plenty of explosions and visual effects to prevent boredom seeping in.
Peter Jackson has been active in getting the director Blomkamp noticed, originally hiring him to direct the cinematic adaptation of popular X-Box game Halo, a project now long defunct. So instead he supported the director’s own script, set in his own South African homeland. From the synopsis above it must be clear exactly therefore what the film is commenting on. The apartheid parallels are numerous, right down to the aliens often being given the derogatory term “prawns”.
To ensure the success of this commentary, however, we are treated to at first an interesting documentary style of filming, which breaks into the action set pieces in the second and third acts. For the human element, the film rests on the shoulders of Sharlto Copley, next to be seen in a much anticipated film (for me, anyway, a child of the 80s) the A-Team. His range and skill in portraying a man in an impossible position is amazing, particularly considering this is his debut acting role, having been a film producer up until this point. I guess that means not all producers are mad dolts interfering with the integrity of a director’s vision!!
A word of warning, this film is not for everyone. At times the violence is visceral, to a point where I would recommend that Bride of Film Nerd avoid it. But if you can handle visceral battle scenes and some intelligence in your action blockbuster, give this film a look.
4 stars (out of a possible 5)
District 9 on IMDB
District 9 on Rotten Tomatoes