August 19, 2009

District 9 Delivers Action, Drama and Superb Acting

Peter Jackson's dramatic sci-fi flick District 9 was the number one film in the country this weekend, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. There had been a ton of viral marketing and buzz surrounding the film and I was in the mood for some shoot 'em up action after growing ovaries during The Time Traveler's Wife.

Not only did District 9 deliver the blood-splattering special effects it also brought to light some interesting human/alien rights issues and showcased great acting from relatively unknown star
Sharlto Copley.

The setup: Unlike other "aliens invade the planet and terrorize humans" movies of the past, District 9 is quite the opposite. An extraterrestrial mother ship comes to rest above Johannesburg, South Africa. Its alien inhabitants are stranded and helpless, so the South Africa government sets up a tent city, ghetto settlement called "District 9" where the creatures live. The aliens are treated like refugees, which is essentially what they are. Won't give too much way, but the humans are the meanies in this one.

I won't tell you much about plot, but Copley's character of Wikus Van De Merwe goes from zero to hero in the film. He starts out as a dweeby office doofus in the movie's opening documentary montage and becomes a rocket firing, ass kicking action star by the end. The best thing was Copley's acting, which made his transformation
throughout the film completely believable without seeming cheesy or forced. That guy was on a mission.

The film basically breaks down like this, dramatics for the first two-thirds, action for the last third. And the action was cool! Great special effects, people blowing up all over the place... Perfect mixture of effects and live action. I do have to say (without giving anything away) that the last 5 seconds of the movie really annoyed me, but the rest was awesome. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it. If you're interested in seeing a dense, but fun and thought-provoking action film make sure you go see District 9. Check out a trailer below.