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Average review score based on 147 user reviews
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When I first started watching this movie I didn't think that I was going to like it. It starts off kinda like a weird sci-fi documentary and COPS combined into one weird sci-fi movie. But once it really got into the movie the more I liked it because it kinda went away from the whole documentary style movie. I was really surprised, because I was about to just stop watching it when it changed styles. It ends up being a really action packed movie with a lot of blood and gore like people exploding, body parts flying off, etc.
The only thing that I did not like about this movie was the language. Once it got into the movie it was just none stop f words all the way. I would recommend watching this movie if you are an adult, but I wouldn't let a child watch it.
Here is a little summary...
Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa's District 9 as the world's nations argued over what to do with them. Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens' welfare - they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens' awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA. The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most vauluable - he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: "District 9".
District 9 takes place in an alternate time-line where, twenty years earlier, an alien spaceship comes to a halt above the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The inhabitants of the ship are unable to operate the ship for some odd reason, so they wind up being segregated by humans to their own slums within the city below. Eventually, the government calls for the eviction of the aliens from the slums. This is where the story really picks up and gets interesting. The aliens (nicknamed prawns due to their appearance) are quite different from humans and extremely aggressive. The prawns love cat food and have an appetite for raw meat. The film's ostensible protagonist is Wikus (Sharlto Copley), who through a series of events, undergoes some dramatic changes to his body after some biological accident handling some kind of alien container that contains the energy to restart their ship.
The best thing about District 9 is that it always manages to stay fresh and surprising throughout. As the trailers indicate, it starts off as a mock-u-mentary in order to save time introducing us to the story. The film gradually crosses into being a more conventional film presentation, although still filmed with a very documentary look and feel interspersed with occasional news footage or interviews. Despite the unexpected change in presentation, you don't really notice because you become enthralled in the premise that these aliens are being caroused around like cattle, but with a legal twist.
Wikus' character development seems very important to the health of this film. We feel that somehow, this guy is just a bumbling pencil pusher who, because of his marriage to the boss has managed to land himself in charge of the corporation responsible to complete the daunting task of relocating the aliens further away from the city.
Along with many supporting actors, as well as CGI aliens, this film raises the bar in the pure science fiction world. Along with that, Chris, the prawn he befriends (who is surprisingly versatile for a CGI character) creates a really believable story. Even when the film's third act becomes incredibly action-packed, it still doesn't jar with the mood of the film and doesn't forsake its characters and intelligence for the sake of cheap action sequences.
The only important wish I have about the film was to actually see more alien presence at the same time, which was very lacking although their was one original scene which shows the aliens initially piled in together while trapped on the ship. Supposedly the intelligent beings had died off while in flight or the ship had somehow been captured by these lower life forms, but somehow were unable to pilot the space ship themselves, therefore close to perishing together trapped in close quarters within the belly of the ship itself. The CGI prawns seems to run in and out of the camera view, however, a count of the presence together on the screen together always yields approximately a half a dozen or so simultaneously.
It's worth mentioning that many great South African actors were used in this film including Vanessa Haywood (Wikus' Wife) who has has other small, yet impressive roles in her career.
An alien craft suddenly arrive above South Africa, once the government gets inside they find a group of aliens who are stranded and their ship is inoperable. The government sets them up in an area they call District 9.
Twenty years later, after the aliens have become a burden on society a group of MNU operatives is sent in to move the aliens to another location. One man become infected with an alien virus and is hunted by the government. The movie is about this mans flight from his own government and the aliens attempt to get out of the slum they have been forced to live in.
The movie is much like a documentary, it is well done and Peter Jackson has once again shown that he is an excellent film maker.
The only draw back is there is not enough action throughout the movie, it is at times too much like a documentary and not enough like a film.
The cast includes: David James, Devlin Brown, Jason Cope, Kenneth Nkosi, William Allen Young
I will not give away any secrets but will say that the movie left open a opportunity for a sequel at the end of this movie and I would not be surprised to see 'District 10' come out sometime in the future.