Saturday, August 15, 2009
Day 213:District 9 (2009) - Rank 5/5
I don't use this phrase lightly, but I have to say that "District 9" was easily the best film I've seen this summer. The cavalcade of aliens, unknown actors and apartheid allegories reminded me that not only can fresh and excellent true science fiction films can still be made, but that they can be wrought with creatures and action scenes with stuff blowing up without diminishing the film's impact.
The format is a strange mix of documentary and a film that was "based on true events." Wikus Van De Merwe (newcomer Sharlto Copley) is the official placed in charge of moving the alien residents of district 9 (a series of slims in Africa) to a new, cordoned area. But when he comes across a biological weapon and soon finds himself turning into one of the aliens, he becomes a target for the government and military. He's then forced to hide out with the only members of society that will accept him inside "District 9."
The film simply works on so many levels. Apart from excelling as a commentary on treatment of other races, it's also a damn good action flick. I suppose I could nitpick if I desired to. I could digress into discussing the needless length of the action scenes, but that would be denying the fact that I found them entertaining. The film also slips in and out of formats a little too readily, depriving the viewer of any commentary/history behind the events near the middle. But overall, I had no legitimate reasons for criticizing this film harshly. I found it utterly refreshing for a new concept to be presented with such great success, especially amidst the sea of sequels that this summer has yielded.
Watch the Trailer