Due to some rather less than positive blog posts from my good friend "The Film Geek" I thought I better step up and defend District Nine. Not that it needs much defending. If you have read any of the hype, it's mostly all true. I'm even going as far as saying this is one of the most important Sci-fi movies of the decade.
The plot is fairly simple. Aliens have landed on Earth and we have treated them like crap. They live in a slum area called district nine but are being "upgraded" to another area outside of the city because, frankly, them Earth folk don't like them kind around these parts. The obnoxious man leading the operation is the main focus of the film.
I've seen the movie referred to as a "mockumentary" but this is misleading and inaccurate. Sure, there are parts filmed like a documentary but it's a device used to fill us in on some of the back story without having to painstakingly reveal it all. It also sets up expectations and some intrigue for how the story will play out. Basically, you are hooked in the first few minutes without really knowing why.
There are several things I really enjoyed about this movie. The story was engaging and I like the style in which it was told. Not just the regular camera style of Independence Day, nor the shaky, hand-held camera style of Cloverfield but a kind of "best of both worlds". Also, just when you thought it was all story and talkie, the actions begins and the adrenaline starts flowing. All this, and the movie didn't have to rely on half-naked sexy women to sell it for even one moment.
Another bonus was that the protagonist was interesting because he developed and grew during the movie. He made uncharacteristic decisions for the "hero" and it was hard to predict what he would do, even if you may have predicted the outcomes.
I said that this movie was "important" at the beginning of my review and I call it that for three different reasons. This film demonstrates that great sci-fi movies can be made 1) on a budget, 2) outside of New York,LA or London and c) without the need for a big name super star or director.
District 9 gets a big double thumbs up for me, and a raised weird tentacle hand.