District 9 Review

district_9_big_gun [This review is spoiler-free, I hope. I tried my best]

With a movie that has it all- aliens, humans, robots, alien-human hybrids in robots, where does one begin to describe how epic it all was. Wait, I just did describe it. District 9 was simply EPIC.

District 9 is set in the city of Johannesburg, South Africafilthy, corrupted and crime-ridden so a mass eviction of the aliens have to be carried out by an organization that call themselves Multi-National United. where aliens are kept in a quarantined area called District 9 and aren’t allowed to return home by the South African government. The conditions of District 9 are getting too

I’ll start off by saying that Neill Blomkamp really pulled off the faux-documentary style incredibly well and made it feel like I was watching a factual documentary. Attention to detail is the key to this. Tiny details just like in a scene where the camera pans, making the image become unfocused then it getting back to being focused again was amazing to see. Stuff of that sort is scattered all over the film. In the opening couple of minutes I felt that although this fictional documentary method was very cool, it would not hold up for the length of the movie. Blomkamp very intelligently switches in and out of this style, interchanging with a regular narrative movie style.

District 9

Being a different kind of movie and all, unique cinematography is required and that is what cinematographer Trent Opaloch delivers. The camera work is brilliant, meshing gorgeous colors together and integrating them with little nuances like the focusing I mentioned earlier as well as lens flares a few times. Moving at a constant fast pace, there is little to no time to take a breather from all the action and intensity. I would say the the movie has a similar pace as that of Crank, but unlike Crank, there is actually a purpose to everything in District 9.

Two big A+ have got to go out to Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for coming up with one of the most unique, creative and original screenplays of the year. Brilliant, it is, but not flawless. I must say in the last quarter of the film, the plot falters a tiny little bit. It’s like by the end of the movie, the writers ran out of ideas and resulting in a massive gunfight that just goes nowhere. Having said that, the gunfight scenes are amazing, awesome and spectacular. So the lack of creativity at the end of the movie does little to distract the viewer from having a blast. And at the end of the day, the movie as a whole is completely inventive.


Two other things that really work in the film are the character of Wikus van de Merwe and the performance of the man who plays that character, Sharlto Copley. At the beginning of the film, Wikus van de Merwe is the last man you would ever want being the hero of a film. Along the course of the District 9, the character faces adversities that completely changes him and by the end of the film, the entire theater will be behind him, cheering him on in full support. Wikus van de Merwe is basically a hero’s hero. The story of this character is definitely an endearing one and it could not have been acted out more ingeniously than by relatively unknown South African producer/director/actor Sharlto Copley. If it were up to me, I’d give him the Best Actor Oscar right now. Unfortunately, Copley is not surrounded by actors of the same caliber. The rest of the actors in the film are so mediocre in their performances it is a little distracting. Having to watch an incredible debut performance by Copley then having such crappy supporting performances is painful.

Any effect, be it CG or sound, is very well done given the movie was on a relatively low budget of just $30 million (as opposed to Transformers 2 which was $200 million). Obviously the effects for District 9 would not be as good as that of Transformers 2, but I’d say it came close. I will admit that this film has a ton of blood sprays and spatters and at times, the they seemed a little too cheesy but it felt intended so it was all good.


I was a little taken aback in the middle of the film when I realized how un-Hollywood it was. Although the set up and effects were all very Hollywood driven, it just didn’t feel Hollywood at all. And I commend the makers of the film for that. The movie is a great piece of work that just sucks you in whole. You probably won’t see a film that will entrance you more and keep your eyes fixed on the screen more than District 9 this year. This film is simply a spectacle to watch and I definitely had my mind blown as I saw so many things that I’ve never seen before. I truly think this is the movie to watch this year and is the best movie of 2009, so far. Now, all we have to do is wait. For Avatar.

I give District 9 a 9 out of 10 Popcorns.

3 comment/s:

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