Sunday, September 06, 2009

District 9

The aliens arrive in Joburg and are promptly settled in a refugee shanty town just outside the city limits. They look like human-sized crayfish and are promptly called 'prawns'.

The human fall-guy charged with resettling them to a desolate tent city hundreds of miles away enters the camp with his people to serve enforcement orders. He unwittingly imbibes some of the spaceship fuel the aliens have been patiently brewing for 20 years. Everything the prawns do is based on biology, even their rocket fuel: the guy starts turning into a prawn!

Tough destiny indeed, but it turns out that since he now has prawn genetics, he can fire alien exotic weaponry. The authorities want to vivisect him as his cells and organs have become multimillion dollar assets. The chase sequence has plety of thrills and keeps darting off predictable paths. Even the ending is not obvious.

This film is by parts amusing, exciting, yeuky and thought-provoking and engages attention throughout. Even the stereotypes are done ironically: the criminals are Nigerian, the fascistic special forces Afrikaans and the evil multinational force which aims to exploit the aliens is indistinguishable in livery from the UN.

A great movie, and could I please have the powered combat robot exoskeleton for Christmas?