I went to see District 9 with my girlfriend and some friends earlier this week. They thought it was ok-ish. I, on the other hand, thought it was a masterpiece!
Right from the start, the film played to the little kid in me. The obvious references are all there: the hovering saucer from V, the alien refugees from Alien Nation, the absurdly powerful weaponry imported from your local first person shooter. But the film takes these influences and creates something more human than just the lopsided sum; there is something utterly cool about it, the way it engages you, makes you laugh (even at the dark bits) and leaves you sad at the end.
Some critics say they don’t like the broken semi-documentary style of the film. I couldn’t care less. The documentary style told one part of the story, the “in-scene” footage the other part. When last did you object to a novel where the author switched viewpoints to tell a more interesting story? Oh you don’t read? Oops, my bad.
What’s that? Oh, you mean the political aspects of the film? How could Blomkamp include themes of apartheid, oppression, discrimination and involuntary resettlement so lightheartedly? As if he did not mean anything with it!!! Sacrilege!
Well, of course he did. These themes are not there to make a point, they are there because we can almost believe in this global company’s conspiracy with its armed force and hidden agenda. Yes, these themes are taken directly from the recent history and current events in South Africa, because we know these are real, and we can almost believe that it can happen!
Was he trying to apologize for apartheid? Definitely not. Was he trying to use familiar themes from a familiar city to shape his story? Yes!
That was his goal: to make an awesomely kick-ass, darkly humored sci-fi movie. And he succeeded brilliantly!
Also, did anybody else get the Alien + Cat + Food Alf reference, or is it just me?