International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:
9 Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Starring Shartlo Copley, Jackson Cope,John Sumner,
Jack Clarkson Review
Peter Jackson met Neill when they had both been signed on to make
the Halo movie. When the budget spiralled out of control, Peter
approached Neill and offered him some pocket money to make his own
film instead in the form of thirty million dollars.
That may sound like
a lot, so here are a few comparisons.
Transformers: 150 Million
The Golden Compass: 180 Million
Watchmen: 130 Million
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: 150 Million
Iron Man: 140 Million
District 9: 30 Million.
And for all those hundreds of millions of dollars that were being thrown
It was the little guy that won in the end. Because District
9 beats the ever living hell out of every single one of these movies!
In 1984, a massive alien space ship came to a stop above Johannesburg.
After three months of nothing, people decided to cut their way in, and
they found thousands of malnourished starving aliens living in squalor.
The aliens are moved to the titular District 9 to keep them separate
The movie follows Wikus van der Merwe, an average guy whos sent
out to hand eviction notices to all the aliens in District 9 so they
can be re-housed in a new area. Things dont go quite as smoothly
as he would have liked, and he finds himself infected with something
alien. Soon enough he finds himself hunted by his fellow humans who
all want to dissect him and only finds sanctuary from an alien who calls
itself Christopher Johnson and his son.
first glance, its just a thinly veiled allegory for the apartheid
system, with the aliens being the Africans, and humans being the
white people. Blomkamp manages to be much more subtle about it.
The aliens arent obviously sympathetic, they are insectoid
creatures that seem to have no sense of ownership and will happily
scavenge the shoes from your feet, and frankly, they look horrible.
You can see why
people think the way they do about them. This film portrays a stark
realism where nobody is truly good, or comically over the top evil.
Wikus himself is pretty nasty at the beginning of the film, cheerfully
remarking on how the dying alien babies sounded like popcorn, but you
watch as he changes over the course of the film.
This film doesnt have as much action as something like Transformers,
but every battle sequence feels earned. When Wikus first grabs a gun
and blows a Nigerian gangster through a wall, you feel such an immense
release of anger built up over the course of the movie. The action is
well delivered and holds its own against the big budget movies out there,
sometimes even managing to be better. Im personally praying for
this to take the best effects Oscar just to see the look on Michael
Bays face! This movie was really clever, and it made you think
about prejudice and tyrany without seeming over the top.
This movie was heart rendingly emotional and bowel voidingly awesome!
If you dont like it youre an idiot.
© Jack Clarkson Oct 1st 2009
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