It’s been a while since most of the science fiction world has been confined to films in space with action and adventure due to Star Wars and films by James Cameron. Yet, every once in a while, a true auteur comes up out of nowhere and delivers a film that is so exceptional that you simply have to take notice. District 9 is a personal favorite of mine, and it’s one of those films that uses science fiction as a façade to talk about most complicated, real-world issues that might end up stirring controversy if not presented in such a way. District 9 is Neill Blomkamp’s magnum opus, a film that is equal parts amazing and shocking.
How to Download District 9
You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like science ficiton flicks about aliens, check out also out reviews of The 5th Wave and Close Encounters fo the Third Kind.
The Movie Review
It all started in 2010 when a spacecraft from another world emerged over Johannesburg. Humans managed to eventually pierce the hull, where they discovered a million famished aliens, these aliens resembled large bugs and they were all simply employees with no real purpose other than to work. There wasn’t anyone in authority, and they had no herd mentality, so, as humanity does, they conquered them and herded them into a sizable ghetto like those used during apartheid when the UN finally decided to take action.
These aliens are shown to be exploited, remaining a permanent underclass in a world they stumbled into, starving.
Neill Blomkamp is an artist, he starts the film as a mockumentary, slowly revealing the overall idea and the plot of the film. However, the best part about District 9 is how it consistently manages to be novel and unexpected, surprising and fresh. District 9 switches up the heat progressively transitioning into a conventional film, despite being shot like it’s a documentary and including news or interview material every once in a while. You are so engrossed in the clever directorial style that you barely notice the unanticipated change in presentation. Then Wikus’s situation is revealed to you, and he becomes a key player in the film’s story.
Of course, we’ll keep that out of the review because you need to watch that by yourself, it is incredibly fascinating to watch it all play out. I can say that he serves as the ideal embodiment of the ‘every man’. He does his hardest to live despite all the world throws at him, and the film is elevated by his growth. The film then goes all out in the final third, as it turns into an action film unlike any other, but it never disrupts the tone of the film. It’s intelligent throughout its entire runtime and manages to keep that theme running despite the phenomenal action sequences.
I appreciate the way this film is presented, the clever and snappy dialogue, and the cast being filled with people you’ve never seen, making it feel exceptionally more real in comparison to films where you know that the characters are obviously actors. The camera work is unique too, managing to be chaotic and raw yet the film is filled with CGI and visual effects where you can’t tell whether what you’re seeing is real or not. It’s such a cleverly created film, one made with a ton of heart and passion.
Another exciting part of the film is its music, phenomenally composed by Clint Shorter, who genuinely blew people away with his ability to create music that is equal parts emotional, tormenting, and ready to rock and roll. The film uses this music in the most perfect way, pushing for the film to be surrounded by this soundtrack as we go through embassies, government offices, suburbs, and slums for the aliens. It’s a shocking film, with a somber presentation, and an action-packed finale that you won’t forget.
In regards to District 9’s realism and direction, Neill Blomkamp excels. Action scenes were expertly choreographed, CG and visual effects work were flawless, and every cast member gave outstanding performances. District 9 is a really distinctive sci-fi movie, not one to be missed. Be aware that this movie isn’t for everyone because it contains violent scenes, and some people may find some of them difficult to watch. However, if you can handle it, you’re in for a spectacular adventure that you won’t soon forget.
- The storytelling is genius, complicated and contemporary yet considerably science fiction.
- Phenomenal acting, every single member of the cast was amazing
- The action was well done, and the violence was not gratuitous
- The overall tone of the film was consistently intelligent, same can be said for the presentation
- Amazing CGI work, visual effects were top notch and the soundtrack was beautiful and haunting