Producer Peter Jackson, the new James Cameron’s of state of the art sci-fi movies and special effects, is perhaps the biggest draw to District 9. That and the fact that I could not walk a block without being bombarded with ads leaving me wondering, “What’s with that huge fucking UFO?” I mean, I sure as shit never heard of Director Neill Blomkamp.
Well as it turns out it just ran out of gas. But I guess not completely, for it still had the fuel to remain hovering over Johannesburg for almost three fucking decades without falling to the ground. The movie opens with the Aliens (or Prawns as they’re called due to their aversion to shellfish) already established in their own district within the city and as I would surmise leaving Districts 8 and 10 none too pleased as their neighbors are not only scavengers and slobs but like to deal in the dangerous contraband of overpriced catfood, Nigerian Gangstas, and fornicating with local prostitutes. So to clean up this fishy ongoing twenty eight year mess up, they hire Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who works for some kind of governmental authorized munitions company that secretly is just interested in activating the alien weaponry by extracting their DNA more so than relocating the one million plus aliens including Christopher Johnson and his precocious son Christopher Johnson Jr. (?) (probably the worst fucking names for an alien in the history of movies since Alien or The Thing!), whom Wikus comes so intimately in contact with to the point where he is falsely accused of doing it doggie style with Johnson so as to smear his credibility. Thank God Peter Jackson learned his lesson from Kong and didn’t cast Jack Black because Sharlto is quite good and just campy enough that he pulls off this implausible yet original tale whereas Jack Black would readily be believed to be an alien ass fucker. Blomkamp also establishes early on the sense of urgency and immediacy by his hand held documentary style and by incorporating mock TV and black and white surveillance camera footage giving the overall film an original approach to the Sci-Fi genre.
However despite this fresh take on alien visitors I cannot fully accept the attempt to correlate Apartheid and xenophobia as these Jumbo Shrimp have no interest in integrating or sitting in the front of the bus thereby nullifying the notion of a District 9 eviction.
Still the real heart and humanity of the story remains in the relationship of Christopher Johnson (the only Prawn who has a chemistry set and higher intelligence) and his lovable Son whom both just yearn to phone home.