Movie Reviews

Film Review: “District 9”

(Sony. 1 hour, 53 minutes. Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language. Directed by Neill Blomkamp.) Sharlto Copley (Wikus Van De Merwe), Jason Cope (Grey Bradnam/ Christopher Johnson), Nathalie Boltt (Sociologist), Sylvaine Strike (Dr. Katrina Mckenzie), John Sumner (Les Feldman), William Allen Young (Dirk Michaels), Kenneth Nkosi (Thomas). Music by Clinton Shorter.

“Thirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came.” Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films has produced District 9, the successful result of a viral campaign which began at last year’s Comic-Con. The movie’s main strength is its original premise: an alien ship has hovered over Johannesburg for 20-something years after it “ran out of gas.” (Well, who said alien landings always have to be in the United States?) The creatures, called “prawns” (likened to bottom feeders) by humans, have been separated into refugee camps; any and all parallels to South Africa’s apartheid system can be drawn by the viewer. Solid effort holds interest through the first half and a big twist, but the movie itself runs out of gas before the end. Still, it’s worth seeing, and the less you know going in, the better. Excellent special effects; the aliens are amazing. Based on a 2005 short, Alive in Joburg, by South African director Blomkamp.

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