August 19, 2009 in Theatrical Reviews
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp
N/A. Go in fresh on this one.
District 9 is the kick in the pants that this summer needed. I absolutely loved it. Finally an event film/special effects extravaganza that is entertaining, stunning to look at, action packed, and thought provoking. In fact, District 9 makes all the other “Summer Event” movies look like a total joke.
This is another film that the less you know, the better. I’m going to keep this review short.
In short: See District 9 ASAP and in a Theater.
District 9 is an astounding Science Fiction/Action film that succeeds on a visceral level as well as a social commentary. The script is smart and doesn’t pull punches. It’s brave, humorous, tense, emotional and unpredictable. I haven’t felt this sense of discovery in a long time and hope that District 9‘s success shows Hollywood that a Special Effects and Action fueled movie can be also be smart.
I’m not going to give away any plot in this review. District 9 works if you go in totally fresh, knowing as little as possible. I applaud the marketing team on this one. The trailer sucks you in, but doesn’t spoil anything at all. I think more movie marketing needs to operate this way.
District 9s budget was $30 million. This is staggering because, I think these special effects look better than any movie I’ve seen this year. The aliens look real. This is a huge pay-off because you get 100% emotionally invested in these creatures and their struggle. Also, the space craft and weapons are 100% believable.
Finally, Sharlto Copley is a revelation. This is his first feature film role, his only other acting role was in the short film Alive in Joburg, which District 9 was based on. He is simply stunning to watch.
District 9 is my favorite film of 2009 and has skyrocketed to my top 10 of all time. Neill Blomkamp is a name to watch, he could be the next James Cameron, Stephen Speilberg or Ridley Scott. It is the best Science Fiction film I’ve seen in the past 10 years, maybe even 20. Go see it. Now.
*I know this was a pretty vague review. For more in depth discussion, hit me up via email. If you’ve seen it and want to continue this conversation just drop me a line!
Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language.