District 9

Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
Based on a short film Alive in Joburg by Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley
Release year: 2009
IMDB Rating: 8.8

Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film also directed by Neill Blomkamp. Sharlto Copley played as Wikus van der Merwe, an MNU (Multinational United) agent who was sent to work on the non-humans relocation from District 9 to District 10. The non-humans (sometimes referred to as the prawns) arrived in Joburg 28 years ago in a spaceship which still hovers above District 9 in the present day.

During the relocation process, Wikus came into contact with a substance that apparently transforming his left hand into an arm similar that of a non-human. MNU then did some tests on him, including the use of non-human weaponry. Later MNU decided to harvest Wikus’ organs in order to replicate them. Wikus however, managed to escape and went back to District 9 to hide there.

From start to finish, the plot unfolded in a fast-paced manner. Although some questions arise in my mind regarding the plot, this sci-fi thriller is surely exceptional. It is however, missing from the plot on how the non-humans and humans managed to establish communication given that the words coming from the non-humans are barely recognizable in the movie. Another oddity is the fact that the spaceship remained hovering over District 9 for 28 years. Looking at how fast the folks at MNU came to the decision to harvest Wikus’ organs, how come they haven’t harvest the spaceship? They could bust into the ship, why not disassemble it altogether for scientific study? Nevertheless, despite these questionable details, the film managed to deliver the message regarding greed and discrimination (after all, why do you think it was set in Joburg?).

It is not without reason why I list only Sharlto Copley in the cast. The movie is singlehandedly focused on Wikus that it made everyone else’s performances insignificant. Copley’s performance however, was outstanding and made as if the movie is actually a documentary. He managed to portray the transformation of Wikus’ character from a jovial fellow to a … well, not so jovial fellow, perfectly. I’ve seen character transformations before but this one is surely one of the best that I’ve seen.

Overall, I consider this movie as a great sci-fi thriller. The acting was dominated by Copley, but he did it superbly. The plot itself provided a thrilling ride from start to finish, but with some questionable details. For District 9, I give it a 9.0 for giving me an awesome entertainment.

Oh, by the way, given the success of the movie, I expect Christopher Johnson will return as promised in 3 years. Since at the end of the movie the District 9 was demolished, he’ll bound to arrive at District 10.

Here's the Alive in Joburg. I thought this could be a good supplement for this post. Enjoy!

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