Movie Review – District 9 – Gripping

District 9

Thirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

I haven’t had the chance to go to the cinema for a while, but I really wanted to see this as I’m a huge Sci-fi fan and there has been a massive lack of decent Sci-fi movies in the last 10-15 years. All the decent ones came out mid-late 80’s and early 90’s. After that what have we had, Matrix? And..there’s been a couple, Dark City, and the only good recent film IMHO has been Children of Men.

Anyway I got the chance to head to the cinema, so I jumped at the chance of watching this and UP (which I’ll review later).

I’d go as far as to say, I enjoyed this more than UP. It’s rocked into the IMDB Top 250 at #49 and deservedly so in my books.

This is truly the first Sci-fi masterpiece we’ve had for a long time, a realistic, gritty, emotive piece of work which pulls you right into the middle of the situation and makes you feel like you are part of it. It’s been a long time since we’ve had something like this, since Blade Runner, since Aliens, since Brazil. Something new and different for once, not a cartoon/game/tv series/old movie remake.

The whole movie was carried superbly by Sharlto Copley as Wikus Van De Merwe the slightly psychotic pseudo-government agent.

It’s definitely amongst my movies of the year along with Star Trek, UP and some I probably haven’t watched yet.

D9 is most definitely not a typical popcorn, Hollywood blockbuster. The CGI is superb yes, but it’s realistic through-out and there isn’t ONE recognisable star in the whole thing..which is how it should be. You an see why Peter Jackson has put his faith in Neill Blomkamp.

Honestly, I can’t wait to watch it again on BluRay (or at least some HD source). It’ll be a film I’ll watch many times I’m sure as there are more nuances to the plot I haven’t picked up on yet.

I also loved that it was set in South Africa, with their whole Apartheid history it’s almost like watching the integration of the Africans and the birth of the first mixed race child.

If you haven’t seen this, I recommend you go and watch it immediately on the big screen.

I give it a prawn splattering 9/10.




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16 Responses to Movie Review – District 9 – Gripping

  1. blogjunkie September 11, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    I totally agree! It was a very realistic glimpse at what could happen knowing our human nature. The allegory to the apartheid helps brings home a moral lesson instead of a adrenaline buzz that is typical of other sci-fi movies. Effects were damn good too and I cringed at a few of the more gooey scenes 😛

  2. Wan Kidd September 11, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Agreed. i was pleasantly surprised with good this movie was. Superb.

  3. Brad F. September 11, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    I’ve got a copy of this but haven’t watched it yet. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it though, so maybe tonight!

  4. Bryan September 11, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    Before I headed to the cinema I asked a friend who watched it for his opinion, he said he almost walked out from the cinema half way and rated it as the worst movie of the year.

    I’m glad I did not trust his taste and insisted to watch it. The movie has so many elements in it and they made it marvelously! 9/10 is a fair rate to me as well.

  5. Myhorng September 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    apparently u like it more than i do. hahahaha

  6. KY September 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    to be frank, it was sorta nice at first but after thinking a bit more on the storyline, alot of things just doesn’t add up. So i guess my ratings for this film has gotten lower a few days after I watched it

  7. Mellissa September 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    I didn’t really like it either – found it very cliche especially the apartheid bit, seemed very too convenient to think of the aliens in the role of the black Africans without thinking about it in a proper historical context. But I absolutely loved Sharlto Copley, top notch acting!

  8. ShaolinTiger September 14, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    blogjunkie: Yah very realistic, that’s why I like it as you could imagine humans acting exactly like this if aliens were to land here.

    Wan Kidd: Yah I had quite low expectations but was looking forwards to it anyway, was a nice surprise!

    Brad F.: Make sure it’s not a CAM/TS – at least wait for the DVDscreener or something.

    Bryan: Yah some people hated it, see below haha, I just ignored the haters and went and enjoyed it anyway.

    Myhorng: Seems so.

    KY: Plots have holes, that’s why we go to the movies. We don’t go for logical coherence, we go for enjoyment.

    Mellissa: Most movies are cliched, even the good ones!

  9. Brad F. September 14, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    We managed to get hold of an R5. It was definitely an incredible movie, beating out a lot of high budget films.

    It just goes to show that over the top special effects can’t make up for a good storyline and convincing actors.

  10. Matthew September 15, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    D9 was definitely a good watch. Surprisingly I went in with high hopes and got more than I expected! Many people just don’t appreciate this kind of movies, a majority of my friends saying it was so-so. They expect A-list actors/actresses, mind-blowing CGIs, etc, etc and fail to appreciate unique movies like D9. I think they deserve to win something.

  11. kenwooi September 16, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    i enjoyed the movie.. but it wasnt the best movie of all time (coz some claimed it is) =)

  12. ShaolinTiger September 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Brad F.: Ah R5, yah just in time quite clear. Definitely recommend watching it again in HD tho 😛

    Matthew: Yah same here, I don’t think many people appreciate this genre or any movie that doesn’t tow the hollywood line.

    kenwooi: Glad you enjoyed it, not sure who claimed it’s best movie of all time tho…that’s pushing it a bit.

  13. lee October 3, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    i have been reading lots of reviews and need to start commenting in order to clear up some of the misunderstandings.

    ive read so many (usa) reviews about the “unbelievable main character” and the “fake accent” and to any south african Wikus is 100% typical of our own red neck those-who-never-apply for passports true blue south african. we all know lots of south africans who speak and act and (unfortunately) think exactly like wikus.

    there is a huge problem with nigerian violence, scams and drug trafficking in SA and the locals have been protesting about it. Our malawian gardener who comes to us once a week always gets himself robbed by nigerians when returning to the townships, we have opened a bank account for him so that doesnt carry cash anymore. Our friends in JHB had their son killed because a nigerian gang kidnapped him and asked for a ransom, which our friends paid for, and they killed him anyway. So yes, its very very appropriate to include them in the movie.

    The ruwandans, mocambiqueans, botswananas, malawians and all manner of neighbouring africans who have flocked into SA are corralled into the worst parts of every township and are called “aliens” locally.

    Racism? Well the white guys are depicted as the baddies and the black guys in MNU are the nicest humans so the racist card is not that clear.

    I find it amusing that people who would walk out of a movie only 20 minutes into it can write reviews and have any sort of intelligent opinion. The director clearly states that he didnt need to patronise the audience by explaining every little angle and leaves much to audience.

    A good movie is one that gets people thinking and talking and this movie sure does that !!

    I understood the brilliance of the movie when seeing it the second time and so much fell into place that I couldnt take in the first time because it was so intense.

    Hopefully the academy will do their due diligence and try and understand the social and criminal context, the accent and ignore some of the super ignorant reviews that have been written by folk who cant understand a movie unless it spoonfeeds and stars Will Smith !!

  14. Giles Dawe October 22, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    It was an easy movie to watch, but I was confused with the Peter Jackson promotion thing. It’s got his name plastered all over the posters and wondered what his impact was on this film. I can see how they used his WETA Sfx to full effect, although the film felt a bit amateurish it was well executed.

  15. ShaolinTiger October 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    Giles Dawe: Well this guy is being labeled as Peter Jackson’ prodigy, he didn’t actually have anything to do with the movie.