I’ve been asked so many times if I’ve seen District 9, that I finally became curious enough to check it out for myself. Usually films about giant bug aliens, is a no go for me. Normal little bugs make my skin crawl, so the thought of giant intelligent bugs, horrifies me to my very soul. Movies like Alien and District 9, really makes me want to sleep with a rolled-up newspaper under my pillow and a can of bug spray on my nightstand.
Curiosity got the better of me this time and I am now reviewing a film, that quite frankly made me dry-heave, a few times. But not to worry, what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger (if insomnia, nightmares and night sweats, are the equivalent to stronger).
District 9, begins with an alien spaceship breaking down within the earth’s atmosphere. Being the friendly hospitable creatures, we are, the humans blow a hole in the side of the spaceship, to have a peep inside.
Inside the spaceship, a race of harmless giant grasshopper aliens, are found. (Later named the prawns, because no one knew what a prawn actually looked like and mistook grasshoppers for prawns. A very sad error to make, if cooking prawn rice). Being awesomely kind-hearted the human governments, decide to give the poor prawns somewhere to stay on earth. Allowing them to build a shanty town, ran by human warlords and for safety’s sake, surround it with a high spiky fence.
After 30 years, the shanty town becomes lawless and a threat, due to warlords exploiting the prawns cat food addictions. Promising the prawns cat food in exchange alien weapons. To eliminate this threat, the Multi-National United (MNU) aims to destroy the shanty town and move the prawns to a new tent town.
While giving the prawns eviction notices, MNU officer Wikus finds a strange piece of alien technology, which he unintentionally activates. Leading to him infecting himself, with an alien virus which causes him to slowly to transform into a prawn. The MNU then take Wikus away to experiment on him. However, he escapes and becomes a fugitive and must hide from the MNU, while finding a cure for the alien virus.
Glob, I feel like a crazy lady just writing that description and that’s only the first 20 minutes of the film. District 9 has a lot happening and from my description, you can probably tell, what this film is hinting at. Considering how sensitive of subject it is, I’ll save you from a lengthy interpretation of this film and just say, there’s a slight hidden meaning to its beginning.
My honest opinion of District 9, is that I could take or leave it. It makes a big flashy statement at the start, but doesn’t follow through. It’s as if the creators put all their efforts into making the beginning great, but just got a film irony template from Disney, for the rest of the film (I joke not, it the same formula used in films, like Freaky Friend or The Princess and the Frog). This didn’t completely ruin the film, it just seemed a bit strange. But I suppose the beginning of a film is important, and if a film formula works, why not use it.
What spoiled this film for me, was the main character Wikus, he just wasn’t likeable. He was a complete and utter tool (jerk) and very moronic, making him incredibly annoying. I also think they went a bit far with the grossness, in District 9. I really could have done without seeing a lady munching on a putrefied prawn arm. It just turned my stomach and made me want to turn the film off.
Despite its shortcomings, District 9 did have a few good things going for it. Mainly the design of the prawn aliens. They looked very cool, with their creepy grasshopper anatomy and were very bug like. I can really see why the prawns are so appealing, to fans of these sort of movies.
Distract 9 also plays around with some very interesting alien concepts, like alien reproduction, weapons, technology and how aliens would view the human race. This aspect of the film, was fascinating and for me, is what really saves this movie from becoming a complete loss.
To conclude on District 9, I feel it’s just another okay movie. It really didn’t excite me much. Although it had an under tone of meaning at the beginning, it didn’t follow through with this level of meaning and became rather typical of any other irony/ “don’t be a jerk or you’ll be punished” movie. It did have cool creepy aliens and some interesting concepts, but this didn’t fully make up for its irritating main character. In a nutshell, I wasn’t overly fussed on this movie and I could take or leave it. For that reason, I would rate it middle of the road.