District 9

District 9 review

Hey, have you heard of District 9? Have you seen the effects-laden clips that appear more convincing than any of the Star Wars prequels even though the film was made for one quarter of the budget? Noticed “Peter Jackson, producer” slapped all over the place? Read all of the excitable reviews hailing it as the best film since, well, ever? Oh. You have.

The hype is overwhelming but there’s no smoke without a shiny orange thing. It’s really quite good. Not only does the novel premise set it apart, the South African setting is a welcome change from the usual American alien-magnet, Wikus, the bumbling moustachioed protagonist, is not your typical hero and the CGI is seriously impressive. Weaponry that comically transforms aliens and humans alike into explosions of blood and guts also adds bonus points.

Forget any initially apparent parallels between human-alien relations and apartheid; this is an outright sci-fi action romp. It’s too shallow to fully live up to the OTT hype, really, and the blatant groundwork laid for a sequel is annoying (District 10, 2012, I wager) but it remains a well made, exciting and highly original film.

4 out of 5

9th Sep 2009 | Official site | On IMDb


Hmmm. A shallow sci-fi romp?! Couldn't disagree more I'm afraid. Everyone's entitled to their opinion I guess. having just seen the film without having read the hype beforehand, personally, I'd say this was more accurate:

"Though Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 evokes many of the classical elements of science fiction films, the movie that kept coming back to me as I sat through the disturbingly realistic pic was Melvin Van Peebles’ Watermelon Man. That 1970 film, which depicts a white racist waking up one day as a black man, hides a poignant and timely message beneath the glimmering facade of a Hollywood comedy. In much the same way, Mr. Blomkamp relies on familiar sci-fi conventions to get to his many-layered message..."


Colin Charvis, 30th Sep 2009

Cheers, Colin. To re-iterate your point, each to their own, so I wouldn't say either opinion is "more accurate."

I don't think it's categorically shallow I just don't think it's as deep as some suggest. The romp, in my opinion, is more prevalent than any deeper meaning.

Patrick Griffiths, 30th Sep 2009