I rarely write movie reviews because most movies don’t stick with me past a day or so, but I want to remember this film, and remember what it showed me and hopefully everyone else who sees it. The following contains spoilers, click through to read.
1. The Movie – District 9
The last time I was this interested in seeing a movie was the Dark Knight, a movie in which I knew the story would be good, the actors great, and the tone and feel of the movie was just right. Going into District 9 was a whole different experience, while it’s marketing campaign was creative and quite expansive, you still weren’t sure what you were going to see. The teaser trailer kept you guessing while blurring the view of the aliens, until the full trailer came out and you realized this was something different, something amazing.
2. The Producer – Peter Jackson
Taking a relatively unknown South African commercial director, giving him 30 million dollars, and then telling him to go off and make a movie is madness in a town where the studio likes to keep a close eye on the project and a tight fist on the money. Jackson allowed for the director’s vision to be seen and more importantly, to be noticed. I expect to see more from Jackson as a producer going forward.
3. The Director – Neill Blomkamp (Who?)
That would be the South African commercial director who was given the opportunity to direct a Halo feature film after making his impressive short film Alive in Joberg and three other short films set in the Halo universe. After that fell through, Jackson decided to give him another chance, which led to District 9 itself.
4. The Star – Sharlto Copley
This guy is going to be everywhere, fast. It’s like Tom Cruise and Christian Bale had a child 35 years ago and didn’t tell anybody. He’s an amazing actor that seems destined for stardom. Through the course of this movie, the changes his character goes through are so natural that you don’t even realize how much the character has evolved until the end.
5. The Story – The Fly meets Aliens
Take one ordinary geeky guy, and then throw him in an extraordinary situation. Then douse the whole thing in jet fule and you have District 9. There are several story-lines running through the film, the main one dealing with Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who’s only goal is to save himself, and ends up saving an entire alien race. Then there’s the story behind MNU and their exploitation of the aliens and their technology, and finally the story of Christopher, an alien who has spent 20 years perfecting a plan to save his people. All three weave together to create a reality that you can believe in.
Of course on the surface, this movie is also about cool looking aliens, bad-ass fight sequences, and seeing shit blow up. Who doesn’t love that?
6 – The End
The story itself sets up a nice ending, with Wikus having fully transformed and making a flower for his wife. And with Christopher off traveling back home, it allows for an interesting sequel that could really spin the story in a whole new direction. Overall, this is an amazing movie that will capture people’s imaginations and propel it’s director and star to new heights.