Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 9
An alien race marooned on earth into the slums of District 9 in Johannesburg South Africa faces extinction when a supposedly humanitarian corporation decides to relocate the alien district.
This is a phenomenal movie, if not for it’s plot, than for it’s sheer originality and believeability. Like Independence Day, which I adored, you really can see all these things happening in real life: an honest to god alien rooting around in the trash behind you as you calmly give an interview about how the aliens are ruining your life. The movie, unfortunately for all of us, unflinchingly also shows just how much of a bastard the whole of humanity really can be. I mean yes, on the one hand, supposedly we were here first and the aliens aren’t your problem. But on the other hand, a great many of the aliens act in a very humane (if not human-like) way, and don’t they deserve compassion in return? Or pity, at the very least?
So, the aliens showed up in our world, over Johannesburg, and the mothership sat there for three months doing nothing. We decide to cut into it and transport those poor aliens down to the planet. (Note that, we decided it.) And into the medic tents they go. Which eventually turns into a kind of city, and of course degenerates into a slum. Where they have aliens doing all sorts of nasty things for cat food (it’s like crack to them), humans selling alien weapons (that we literally can’t use), interspecies prostitution (sound it out; don’t ask), warlords and death. And the MNU, the Multi-National United, which I gather is a corporation with vested weapon interests and it’s own private army of mercenaries who don’t answer to any damn government, decide after twenty years of the Prawn being there, to move the million+ aliens out of D9 into another already waiting place in Africa. Because we all know how well pogroms have worked in the past right?
That’s all I can stand to squee without just giving the entire darn movie away! Sufficit to say, I stayed glued to the screen for District 9, and it wasn’t due to any alien gooey glue either! There’s very little finger shaking, just a lot of presented situations where you can make your own judgement on how the Prawn are treated and what you might do differently. And be prepared to cheer for Wikus Van De Merwe, played by Sharlto Copley, the process server turned savior of the Prawn!
Oh squee, they left an opening for a sequel – District 10!