Saturday, 26 December 2009

Film: District 'fooking' 9

Wow, District 9 was amazing! I think it's probably the best film I've seen all year. Set in Johannesburg, and staring unknowns, it is about a bunch of fairly benign aliens living in a slum, and being relocated due to humans not liking them very much. It is shot in the style of a documentary to a large extent, and reminded me very much of Starship Troupers, and a quite a bit of Terminator, but with more of a heart. It's a right mixture actually; of social commentary, action, sci-fi and the essential, great storytelling.
The film drags you in right from the start, with no dull build up. You get to see the aliens straight away, and you are expected to get up to speed with the facts of the situation in the first five minutes, which I liked. It was non-patronising and kept your interest right from the start (unlike, say paranormal Activitzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).
Whilst there were the obvious political issues of race and immigration floating around, they were present, but not 'rammed down your throat' as The Daily Mail would say, patronisingly.
I really liked the main guy in it, he was a great actor and played a brilliant role; multi-faceted character, unlikeable in the extreme at first (not least due to his accent) but extremely believable as his character went from annoying everyman to desperate fugitive. He really made you give a shit about his character, and it made me laugh every time he said 'fuck' as 'fook'- he sounded Scottish through and through. We even checked the end credits to see if he WAS Scottish. The South African accent is crazy.
The other excellent thing were the aliens; they looked a bit cheapy at first, but due to clever characterisation through the subtitles 'fuck off!' and various outfits, I really grew to love them. I like the fact the hero alien was called Christopher, and the kiddy alien is beyond cute. Christopher's bomber jacket was also totally chi-chi.
The main part of this film is total bang bang, explosion, robot/ alien action fighting, which sounds awful on paper, but was really exciting due to the script being really smart and interesting.
I thought the spaceship just hovering in the sky throughout was also a clever device, as it was like 'the elephant in the room' and you were just waiting for it to all kick off.
The set up for the sequel was so laboured it was almost beyond belief, but I'll forgive 'em cos I want to see that sequel!
If you don't watch this film, you're mad.

No comments: