"District 9" is the must see movie of the year. And it's most definitely one of the best scifi movies of the decade. What Neill Blompkamp and Peter Jackson have crafted, for not much money at that, looks better than any big budget action movie out there. But, if you've been trapped in a basement over the weekend and didn't have a chance to watch it and you're thinking: "What's this 'District 9' all about?", read the following.
The movie starts off with documentary-style interviews. Right off the bat, you learn that 20 years prior, an alien mothership stopped right over Johannesburg, South Africa, for unknown reasons. Eventually, humans cut their way into the ship, and find a race of extra-terrestrials in dire need of help. So, what do we benevolent humans do? We put them in a shanty-town/ghetto, perform medical/science experiments on them, and pretty much treat them like 2nd class citizens. The movie makes a parallel with South Africa's apartheid that is pretty hard to miss.
We then meet the protagonist, a low level bureaucrat in the MNU, who gets put in charge of relocating the alien population from the run down District 9 to the brand new District 10 that has been erected outside of the city. Lots of unrest amongst the human populace has caused the government to take action, so they're evicting the aliens, who are referred to using the racial/derogatory term: prawn. For that, they enlisted the help of the MNU, one of the world's largest weapons manufacturer, who has a secret agenda of course. They want to use alien weaponry. Only problem is that it only works with alien DNA.
I could keep telling you what happens from there, but I don't want to spoil the movie too much. Suffice to say, the low level MNU bureaucrat gets something sprayed on him during one of the routine evictions and things start to change for him. The truth of the company that he works for starts to be revealed to him, and he makes the choice to go against everything he has believed to try to help the alien visitors.
This movie made love to my eyeballs. It's fantastic. Everything from the story (which should always be the main focus in a movie) to the SFX work. Pitch perfect. It's no wonder it's getting rave reviews from pretty much anyone who's seen it so far. I highly recommend this to anyone that's interested in seeing something great. It's a hell of a lot of fun as well. Even though there are some heady issues that the film tackles, it's never boring. It might even make you rethink if it's OK to pee on yourself in public. It's so good you don't want to get up to use the bathroom if you've been drinking gigantic sodas like I do whenever I go watch a movie. Don't worry, I didn't soil myself, but I might have done irreparable damage to my bladder by holding it in for too long. Fuck it, it was worth it.