District 9: Movie Review
For anyone who has read my reviews on here or talked to me personally, you probably know that I’m a movie geek. There’s nothing I like more than a good action, sci-fi, comic or fantasy movie. So, when I first saw trailers for District 9, I knew that I would have to see it and check it out. I couldn’t get much from the trailers other than it was about an alien race that landed on Earth and for some reason they weren’t leaving. There were some fight scenes and aliens running about all over the place, but they didn’t reveal much in regards to the story. This is the way trailers should be. Give you a sense of what’s going to happen, but not reveal too much. So, when I went in to view this movie, I had no clue as to what to expect and after it was over, I was thrilled by the movie experience I had just witnessed.
The story line of this film is fairly simple and comes in three parts. The first part includes an alien ship that for some reason land over the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. It was firing on the city, aliens weren’t falling from the sky attacking people, and no one knew what they were doing here. After awhile of nothing happening with the ship, an air crew was sent up to investigate. This entire beginning section is shot very much like a documentary. It gives it a sense of reality and history. This is very unique to the sci-fi genre. When the air crew gets inside the ship, they see thousands of aliens in the ship looking very weak and malnourished. So, they decide to fly them down from the ship, give them places to stay in a large enclosed area and do what they can to make them comfortable.
The second part of the story comes when the city has decided to move the camp full of aliens to a different location about 200 miles away from the city. They citizens of Johannesburg are tired of the aliens being so close to their city and the mess, trash and outlaw behavior that is happening within the walls of the alien compound. Just like any other slum, there are weapons being sold, prostitution, drugs and gang type activity happening and they want to move them away. So the institution that has been set up to patrol the aliens is now in charge of evicting them from their homes that have lived in since arriving twenty years previous. This is where the story gets really interesting. I don’t want to talk about the third chapter, but it went in a direction that I was totally not expecting and the ride was a great one.
Going in to see this film, I had no idea that I would be confronted with such complex social issues. They tackle bigotry, slum life, poverty, illegal sale of weapons, unjustified eviction and fear of the unknown. The aliens in the film are no more than another race. The humans give them the hateful name of “Prawns” and don’t give them any respect or privacy despite their intelligence and not harming anyone unless attacked. We see the family life of the aliens and get to know that they are more than just invaders or intruders on the planet. They have their own humanity and just want to keep to themselves or find a way to get back to their home.
This film was far more that I expected it to be. It was action packed, thoughtful, touching, funny, and scarily close to what happens so some people in the real world we live in. This was unlike any other alien film I’ve ever seen and that is a very good thing. I hope that they follow this up with another one equally as good. Go see this movie and I bet you’ll be glad you did.