You are not welcome here.
Morena Busa Sesatsa
William Allen Young
Running Time: 112 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: New Zealand (Aotearoa), United States, South Africa
I was instantly suspicious of District 9, because its been a while since a filmespecially a sci-fi filmhas received such universal praise. Even the guys online who usually get their movies pirate-style were saying no, you HAVE to see this one in a theater. So, I was ready for greatness, but my cynical side was prepared for disappointment. My cynical side shouldve stayed home, because it was very soundly pummeled by my movie-loving side.
Unlike pretty much every aliens-come-to-Earth movie, the aliens of District 9 didnt come guns blazing, they didnt plan to overtake our planet, and they werent even on some expedition to share their vast knowledge. In fact, its not really ever really explained why theyre here, just that twenty years prior to the films opening, their ship seemed to break down mid-hover over Johannesburg, South Africa and since then, these aliens have been forced to live in slums and treated horribly by us humans. As an example of this, we see what happened when one Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), on assignment to relocate some aliens to another district, finds himself on the bad end of things, and he has to face his own humanitywhat that means exactly.
Its a hard film to describe, this District 9, because it truly is so many genres all in one. Its definitely and blatantly science fiction, because there are aliens, spaceships, and gunfire aplenty. But its also very much a social commentary, which though, at times, is a little heavy-handed, its still timely, still thought-provoking, and even in its heavy handedness, is still sometimes subtle. Probably the best decision anyone could have made with this film was to fill the cast with an ensemble of virtual unknowns, and even with all the action (done superbly, by the way, as are the makeup and effects), it never feels like an action flick because theres not a big, recognizable guns and bombs star like Will Smith or Tom Cruise. In the hands of an experienced director, this would still have been a fantastic movie, but Neill Blomkamp, director and co-screenwriter, is new to these waters, and that itself makes it phenomenalbut the fact that all that stuff is true AND a large part of the film is in alien subtitle spoken by creatures that are by no means the Holywood alien ideal for looking at well, you see how it couldve been a disaster.
Overall, I hate it when a critic uses words like phenomenal or fantastic and goes all gushy like a fangirl. District 9 is that good, though, and is really a movie you have to see about four times, for yourself, because if you dont, youll be missing out on a future classic.
It's Got: Unknown actors delivering spectacular performances, perfect special effects, a timely story
It Needs: To be seen
Alternatives:Alien Nation, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, District 9, Transformers
A film that transcends in genre, District 9 is an instant classic that gives sci-fi the boost of credibility its deserved for a long time.