Sunday, 16 August 2009

District 9 (2009)

At a glance:
Catfood-chompin aliens, inter-species prostitutes, gangland riots and a hard-hittin, nail-bitin (literal) lead performance from a guy who ain't even a pro actor - that's what makes Peter Jackson's District 9 the thinkin man's action movie of the decade. When the game-to-movie Halo project fell through, the LOTR strongman producer got a white African man's short film turned into a heavily-marketed R-rated docudrama with exceptional CGI - the kind that makes you feel guilty for endorsin Transformers. Director Neill Blomkamp's days in apartheid Joburg, SA, inspired this alternate Earth where real-life immigration issues deceptively underpin a story about prawn-like aliens stranded on our planet with nowhere to go. Unlike other alien movies like ID4, they aren't exactly hostile but behave more like frustrated refugees with sanitation problems. Narrated through a shaky Blair Witch Project account of Wikus Van De Merwe, a gawky government aide who turns from law-abidin family man to one-armed national traitor when he's exposed to alien fluid that changes his DNA.
Reminds me of:
1998's Dark City and Rufus Sewell. However when lead Sharlto Copley steps into a robot suit to pursue justice, we're taken 30 years back to when Sigourney Weaver did the same and kicked alien ass in the celebrated landmark Alien. The feelin is even greater considerin that we're rootin for a hero who isn't exactly a likeable fellow!
Watch out for:In Malaysia, lead character's Afrikaans-accented English must be so otherworldly because his fucks ain't detected by local censors. Muppets.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
A sentimental sci-fi about how ordinary men (or aliens, for that matter) end up doin extraordinary things when pushed to the edge, exposin the global hypocrisy of having set right and wrong in legal or moral terms. There are CJ7 father-son moments in this movie, together with the character struggle of a pasty-faced pencil-pusher who just wants to see his wife again. If this doesn't force you to reconsider how we treat foreigners, then let's all pray for Peter Jackson and a District 10. ★★★★