Friday, March 12, 2010

District 9

WORTH-IT: (Neill Blomkamp) Unlike most movies today, District 9 never attempts to follow the rules of reality. Million of aliens are living in a fenced in neighborhood outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. The interact with the locals, the locals can understand their click-gurgle language, and their broke-down UFO is just chillin' over the skyscrapers. Nothing new. Never once does the film place itself deep into the future or use some overlooked history page to make its script believable. Its truly outside the realm of realism... and I love it. We're back to Independence Day.

The story (relating Apartheid to the rest of the world) is that the MNU of Johannesburg need to relocate the aliens from their current slums to a man-made campground, far from the human population and strictly quarantined by militia. To keep things legal and "fair," the MNU must get a signature from the aliens being evicted. Using this walk-through to arrest and detain law-breakers (you know, aliens with guns, suspicious garbage, general things they don't have permission to collect). Its rash, of course, and violence ensues as the aliens fight back for their right to habitate. What's weird though, is that director of the eviction, Wikus Van De Merwe gets sprayed by one of these suspicious collectables and can't seem to shake the side effects. Before you know it, he's vomiting an oil spill, losing fingernails and growing scales. Gross to the general public, but to MNU, he's valuable--and hours after he was promoted to lead this expedition, he is now being hunted for alien-human DNA and infected body parts.

The rest of the movie is jam packed with science fiction gore and political impression, but the chase and the fight is worth watching. It's a unique film-style, shot as though a documentary, that makes the movie go by fast and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I won't say its effects can even compare to the old days of Men In Black, but it is a good view, and even with those vanilla special effects, it works for me. You won't be into it if you're not a gore tolerater or if you can't dig science fiction, but whether you see it or not, know that Apartheid was a huge piece of South African heritage, and they're succeeding in getting the message out - aliens or not.

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