I finally watched District 9 a couple of weeks ago. It was nothing like I thought it would be. When I originally dropped it in my queue I was only vaguely aware of the plot. Here’s the plot summary from IMDB:
In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new ‘Prawn’ friends.
That sounds pretty convoluted, but it pretty much sums it up. Anyway, the aliens look like big cockroaches with faces much like Predator. They did really well on their overall look. They also did a kick ass job on the language. A bunch of clicks and gurgles like you would expect, but a lot better than any other alien language I’ve ever heard – at least in movies. The real-life ones usually sound a little different.
I felt some pretty good tension during the exciting parts – which was almost the entire movie. And I like the way the aliens behaved when they were thrown into a corner. It seemed very realistic. There were a couple of parts that seemed a little bit predictable, but not so much that it ruins anything.
The part where the hero is exposed to the alien chemical is pretty intense though. When he finally starts reacting, he does a very good job of portraying someone who is sick with an alien disease, and it elicits a damn fine emotion from the viewer. You really feel his fear. How the hell would you react if you caught some airborne pathogen foreign to this planet, and started getting symptoms unlike anything you’ve ever seen? It’s pretty intense, and was well done.
The final point I’d like to make is the style of the movie. They did a lot of the flip over to the security cameras for an alternate view trick, and the whole movie was filmed like a documentary. They had interviews and reports like a news bit, which made the whole thing feel like a Crichton novel.
So overall, I think this movie definitely deserves to be seen. It has a plot that hasn’t really been used that much. At least not that I’ve seen. Original idea in the beginning. And it was a different take on the man versus aliens story all throughout. It was good enough for me to say I want to own it.
Overall Rating: Four SpaceStars