Part of

Part of

Friday, August 14, 2009


What do you get when you cross a beetle, roach, and a grasshopper? A "Prawn" of course. That is what the aliens are called in this new sci-fi feature. Getting right to it, I thought this was going to be more about the usual human vs aliens battle, but I was wrong. The aliens don't do a whole lot of fighting back. 
The movie centers around a character named Wikus van der Merwe, who is put in charge of moving the aliens from District 9 to a new, much smaller location. In the process of serving the aliens eviction notices (yes they evict aliens), he sprays himself with an alien chemical, in turn, transforming himself slowly into an alien. This leads us to the usual plot of humans out for alien technology, willing to stop at nothing, including chopping up the poor guy. See, only an alien can activate the aliens weapons, hence the movie from this point on becomes a chase for Wikus, who gets help from an alien that says it can help him transform back to a human again. We see Wikus not only transform into an alien, but from a nerdy pencil pusher to a hero. You definitely feel for what the guy goes through. The biggest problem I had with his character was his accent. At times, I couldn't understand what he was saying. 
The movie starts out like a CNN documentary, interviewing many characters that knew Wikus in some way. I thought they carried on with this style too long. As the movie goes on, they go back and forth between this documentary style, and just regular movie shots. It becomes a little annoying and inconsistent. One minute they are interviewing someone, the next they are showing what the aliens are up to, but it is not part of the documentary. Even in one scene they show blood hit the camera, but you do not get the feeling you are watching the scene as part of the documentary. I did like that the story was located in South Africa. You get tired of seeing movies always in NY, LA, or even London. 
The action scene that concluded the movie was great. Lots of fighting, guns, and of course a gory review's favorite blood and guts splattering all over the place. When the humans get shot, they turn to nothing but blood splatter. Wikus becomes one with a robot suit that kicks some major ass. Loved some of the things he went through while transforming, and how some people got what they deserved (won't give it away). 
Some things to wonder about. How were Wikus and the alien able to communicate with each other? They just seemed to understand each other's language with no problem. They never explained what the aliens wanted. They just kind of parked their ship there about 30 years ago with no plan, and no reason. They didn't even want to get out of the ship. And what was up with Christopher Johnson (main alien)? Why was he smarter than all of the other aliens? Was he a human at one time and that is why he knew what was happening to Wikus? And why was he one of only a few aliens to wear clothes? The marketing for the movie was good. Like I said, thought it was going to be more like aliens vs humans with all of the "No Humans Allowed" signs, and the teaser that showed people questioning an alien who just wants to go home (by the way tell me if you see that scene in the movie).
To conclude, good movie worth seeing, just don't be fooled like I was. The movie isn't about the fighting, it more about Wikus's fight to be human again, his love for his wife, and the growth from nerd to hero (probably even deeper meaning which I don't want to get into). The movie leaves a lot of things open at the end. Maybe a part 2, could be, may answer some of my questions. All things said, I give it 2 pools of blood out of 5. 


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