This is my first review posted, its on Neil Blomkamp's District 9.
|Neil Blomkamp begins his silver screen career with a helping hand from “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson who delivers a new twist on the sci-fi genre. Both were in the production of a film adaptation of the video game “Halo” but because of lack of financing, “District 9” was made and “Halo” put on hold.
South Africa’s own Blomkamp directs and writes along with Terri Tatchell “District 9”, a groundbreaking alien adventure which grossed a huge £2,288,378 in its opening weekend in the UK. Not only has it made much more than other blockbusters this past summer up to now, it has been given a great reception by the critics and no wonder, this tense heart wrenching pulls you in from the start and never lets go.
Blomkamp and Tatchell divert from the traditional sense of story in the alien genre and opt for a unique plot where the humans keep the aliens which are referred to as “prawns” segregated in an area just outside of Johannesburg called “District 9”. Blomkamp also opts for most of the cast, if not all to be made of relatively unknown actors and actresses, most of which are also from South Africa. This adds to the authenticity of the story line giving a real insight to the area and the life in the slums surrounding Johannesburg.
We follow Wikus van der Merwe played by Sharlto Copley who is an MNU (Multinational United) field operative who leads the relocation of 1.8 million “prawns” to district 10. They are here as they were fleeing their dying home planet and land on Earth, but now they just want to go back. And as usual in sci-fi, nothing goes according to plan and Wikus soon becomes a fugitive after an event raiding an alien shack. From here on the action kicks in which is why “District 9” is being called one of the main contenders of blockbusters of the summer, even though it was released some time after opponents such as “Transformers 2” and “Terminator Salvation”. The idea that we are keeping the aliens locked down is a brilliant and unique perspective on the genre and don’t expect little green men, these aliens are literally 7 foot tall prawn faced cockroaches that are advanced in technology and weaponry which would explain the colossal spaceship hanging in the air over the district.
It delivers an imaginative and dramatic story along with mind blowing CGI and powerful performances from its stars that recreates the science fiction genre. Shot in a docu-realist style, it puts the likes of “Cloverfield” to shame in both the hype and the actual film. Don’t get me wrong, “District 9” is a lot different from “Cloverfield” but as in recent years, “Cloverfield” has been the only contender in this modern rarity of genre.
Overall, Blomkamp’s first feature film gives us a new way of looking at this genre which I think could now be a distinguishable feature in the future of the silver screen. And after the success of “District 9”, it’s pretty hard to believe that Jackson and Blomkamp will find it hard to finance the rest of the “Halo” film which hopefully will be just as good.