Disctrict 9

District 9, District 9, District 9! Yes, I watched it. Yes, I’m blown away. And yes, there are small spoilers under the gap.

District 9 is the sort of movie I’ve always wanted South Africa to produce. A well-crafted mix of hard science fiction (at least, as much as is allowed in a movie these days), social satire, great special effects and a good plot. Better yet, the local filming and acting meant that all of the local flavour was kept. No ‘hummers as whatever-the-fuck-they-drive-out-there’. No shitty second-hand voice coach accents.

And as for the pedantry: yes, making the black goo a universal plot device (it causes human and alien genetic material to become compatible AND powers a starship?) is a bit of a cheat. Yes, the biology issues are never even addressed (who would have thought that alien creatures could even breathe our air, let alone digest our proteins). But I don’t care, because that is what I expect from a movie anyway. If the movie sucks, bad science makes it suck worse, if not than it gets forgiven. Also, the powered armour is everything I ever wanted in a movie. Mostly used as an excuse to make the main character invincible (I’m looking at you, iron man), here at least it was treated like a real object: a functional thing with strengths and weaknesses inherent to its design.  But maybe my eyes are just clouded by awesome.

Finally, the issue of a sequel worries me  a little. There are way to many instances of a good movie being slowly ruined by sucessive adaptations, spinoffs and directorial ‘new directions’. That said, the movie can always stand on its own as a self-contained story. So it won’t suffer from suck as badly if the subsequent attempts are ham-fisted. And, dear god, if they can pull off another one like the first…


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